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The game birds of India and Asia, 

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FRANK FINN, b.a., f.z.s 

Late Deputy Superintendent, Indian Museum 


" Tlie Waterfowl of India and Asia," "How to linow the Indian 

IVaders," ■' Garden and Aviary Birds of India," 

" Fancy Pheasants,^' &=c., tiv 


ow-' 47 


fhisted bt thackee, spink and co. 


This little work is mainly a reprint of a series 
of articles contributed by me some years back to 
the Indian Forester, revised and brought up to 
date, and with the addition of a chapter on the 
Sand-grouse. The Bustards I have already dealt 
with in my work " How to know the Indian 
Waders," as they are most nearly allied to certain 
wading birds. 

The present work contains, in addition to ac- 
counts of the Game-birds of our Indian Empire, 
brief descriptions of the species belonging to Asia 
outside Indian limits, and to the East Indian 
islands which belong to Asia zoologically con- 

It is hoped that the usefulness of the work will 
thereby be increased, while any perplexity to 
students of the Indian and Burmese birds alone 
may be avoided by observing that the descriptions 
of all these exotic forms are in small print, while 
their names in the table of contents are in italics. 

The scientific nomenclature employed is that of 
the Fauna of British India volumes for Indian and 


Burmese species ; exotic ones are to be found 
under tile British Museum Catalogue names, and 
in the case of birds described since the publication 
of that work, under the names given by their des- 
cribers, with references to the publication where 
the descriptions appeared. 

I have not, however, considered it necessary to 
deal with the many so-called species of Phasianus 
(typical pheasants) or Gennceus (kaleeges) des- 
cribed of late years, as there is so much doubt 
about the validity of these, and such sub-divisions 
are not of any great interest to sportsmen, for 
whom this work is primarily designed. 

London, 191 i. 



Introduction — Game-birds and their characteristics ; 

the family Phasianidte — its divisions . . . . i 


Pea-fowl and Jungle-fowl — Their characteristics- 
Common Pea-fcrwl — Burmese or Green fea-fowl — Red 
Jungle-fowl — Ceylon Jungle-fowl — Grey or Madras 
Jungle-fowl — Green Jtmgle-fowl . . . . ij 


Short-tailed Pheasants — Tragopans, Monauls, etc. — 
Crimson Tragopan — Black or Western Tragopan — Grey- 
breasted or Assam Tragopan — Grey-spotied or Tem- 
minck's Tragopan — BufJ or Cabot's Tragopan — Common 
Monaul or Impeyan Pheasant — Bronze-backed Mon- 
aul — Crestless Monaul — Vhuys's Monaul — Blood- 
Pheasant — Geoffroy's Blood-Pheasant — Chinese Blood- 
Pheasant . . . . . . . . 24 


Long-tailed Phea.sants — Argus — Bornean Argus — 
Double-spoiled Argus — Crested Argus — Grey Pea- 
cock-Pheasant—Malayan Peacock-Pheasant — Germain's 
Peacock-Pheasant — Bornean Peacock-Pheasant — Napo- 
leon's Peacock-Pheasant — Purple-tailed Pheasant — Inter- 
mediate Peacock-Pheasant — Lady Amherst's Pheasant — 
Golden Pheasant — Cheer Pheasant — Mrs. Hume's Pheas- 
ant — Elliot's Pheasant — Copper Pheasant — Mikado 
Pheasant — Reeves's Pheasant — Stone's Pheasant — Com- 
mon Pheasant and the, allied x.aces . . . . 40 



Pheasants WITH medium tails — Koklass and Kaleeges — 
Common Koklass — Chestnut Koklass — Meyer's Kok- 
lass — Yellow-necked Koklass — Darwin's Koklass — 
White-crested Kaleege — Nepal Kaleege — Black- 
backed Kaleege — Black-breasted or Purple Kaleege — 
Lineated Kaleege or Burmese Silver Pheasant — Chinese 
Silver Pheasant — Crawford's or Anderson's Silver 
Pheasant — Cuvier's Kaleege — Oates's Kaleege — White- 
head's Silver Pheasant — Swinhoe's Kaleege — Fire- 
backed Kaleege — Bornean Fire-back — Diard's Fire- 
back — Wattled Pheasant — -Malayan Crestless Kaleege 
— Bornean Crestless Kaleege — Black Crestless Kaleege — 
White Eared-Pheasant — White-tailed Eared-Pheasant 
— Blue Eared-Pheasant — Harman's Eared-Pheasant — 
Brown Eared-Pheasant . . . . 62 


Partridges — Characteristics of various groups — Hima- 
layan Snowcock — Tibetan Snowcock — Altai Snow- 
cock — Caspian Snowcock — Caucasian Snowcock — Dark- 
throated Grouse-Pheasant — Pale-throated Grouse-Pheas- 
ant — Snow-partridge — Tibetan Partridge — Prjevalsky's 
Partridge — Common European Partridge — Bearded Par- 
tridge — Chukor — Prjevalsky's Chukor — Black-headed 
Chukor — Seesee — Hey's Seesee . . . , 8; 


Francolins and Spurfowl — Red Spurfowl — Painted 
Spurfowl — Ceylon Spurfowl— Indian Grey Partridge^ 
Swamp Partridge — Black Partridge -Painted Partridge 
— Eastern or Chinese Francolin — Large-billed Fraijcolin 
— Hose's Large-billed Francolin 


The Forest Partridges — Bamboo Partridge— CAjh^sc 
Bamboo Partridge — Fnrmnsan Bamboo Partridge — Hill- 
Partridges — Common Hill- Partridge — Blyth's Hill- 
Partridge— Arrakan Hill-Partrid ge- - White- l heeked 
Hill-Partridge — Red-breasted Hill- Partridge — Brown- 



breasted Hill-Partridge — Fire-necked Hill-Partridge — 
Formosan Hill-Partridge — Sonnerat's Hill-Partridge — 
Javan Hill-Partridge^Red-billed Hill-Partridge — Trea- 
cher's Hill-Partridge — Whitehead's Hill-Partridge — 
Horsfteld's Hill-Partridge — Sumatran Hill-Partridge — 
Roll's Hill-Partridge — Henry's Hill-Partridge — Camp- 
bell's Hill-Partridge — Green-legged Hill-Partridge — 
Charlton's Hill-Partridge — Chestnut Wood-Partridge — 
Red -crested Partridge — Black Wood-Partridge ,. 112 


Quails — Their characteristics and groups — Common 
Quail — Japanese Quail — Rain-quail — Painted Quail — 
Jungle Bush -quail — Rock Bush-quail — Painted Bush- 
quail — Blewitt's Bush-quail — Hume's Bush-quail — 
Inglis's Bush-quail — Mountain-quail — The True Grouse 
— Their Characteristics — Blackgame — Caucasian Black- 
game — Capercailzie- — Black -billed Capercailzie — Spruce- 
grouse — Hasel-grouse — Mongolian Hazel-grouse — Wil- 
low-grouse — Rock-ptarmigan .. .. ..127 


Megapodes — The Nicobar Megapode — Cuming's Mega- 
pode — Sanghir Megapode — Bernstein's Megapode — 
Maleo — Button-quails — Their Characteristics — Blue- 
legged Button-quail — Yellow-legged Button-quail 
— Burmese Yellow-legged Button-quail — Nicobar Yel- 
low-legged Button-quail — White-legged or Little But- 
ton-quail — Philippine Button-quail— Celebean Button- 
quail — Whitehead's Button-quail — Chestnut-breasted Bui- 
ton-quail .. .. ■■ ..152 


Sand-Grouse — Their Characteristics — Common Pin-tailed 
Sand-grouse — Spotted Pin-taUed Sand-grouse — Large 
Pin-tailed Sand-grouse — Black-bellied Sand-grouse — 
Coronetted Sand-grouse — Painted Sand-grouse — Close- 
barred Sand-grouse — Tibetan Three-toed Sand-grouse 
—Piflffts's Three-tqed Sund-^rouse .. ., i6» 




Synoptical Table of full-plumaged male Indian Game- 
birds . . . . . . . . ' 1 73 

Treatment of Game-birds in Captivity . . 178 

The Game Birds 





Taken as a whole, no family of birds is of such 
general utility to mankind as the Phasianidce, 
belonging to the order of game-birds, the Gallinte 
(hens) or Rasores (scratchers) of scientists. No 
less than four species — the fowl, guinea-fowl, turkey 
and peacock — are domesticated in the full sense 
of the word, while several species of pheasants are 
reared artificially for sport or as ornamental birds. 
In India these birds are of special importance ; 
the country contains an unusual variety of spe- 
cies and genera, and the sport they at present yidd 
could be much improved by better protection given 
to the birds. For none need assistance in the 
struggle for existence more than game-birds do ; 
other animals appreciate their flesh as well as man, 
and their general habit of breeding on the ground 
renders them peculiarly liable to fall a prey to 
terrestrial vermin. Moreover, their limited powers of 


• ♦ 

flight render it impossible for them to range far and 
wide in times of famine, and hence they are liable 
to perish from want, just as beasts do. On the 
other hand, their speed of foot and habit of fre- 
quenting, covea: secures them to a great extent 
against birds of prey ; and their resident and gran- 
ivorous habits render it easy for man to encourage 
them to any extent by means of artificial feeding. 
Thus, on the whole, they are easy birds to culti- 
vate, and the ehcourageineht of a good stock should 
be one of the studies of every forest officer. For 
not only are the birds useful for food and as afford- 
ing a healthy recreation, but they are of service in 
a forest by destroying many noxious insects and 
by turning over the leaves' and surface-soil in their 
search for these and other food. In addition to 
insects, some will eat niice and young snakes, so 
that they are good general vermin-destroyers ; 
and though they devour much seed and grain, 
their own utility as food secures their being kept 
from increasing to such an extent as to be a pest 

There is another aspect from which game birds 
are worthy of attention from a utilitarian point 
of view. They carry, as a family, far the most 
beautiful plumage of any group of birds ; I speak 
after examining many specimens, dead and alive, 
of the long-cdebrated Birds of Paradise. Not 
only the peacocks but several of the pheasants far 
excel all of these both in general brilliancy and in 
the individual plumes which go to make up their 
splendour ; while the tiny humming-birds and sun- 
birds can never enter into competition with such 
large species as are the pheasants and their kin. 
Now, as humanity has always been constant to 


feathers as a means of decoration, it seems to me 
that the systematic cultivation of the more bril- 
liant game birds as plume-producers woiold pay 
very well; such cultivation is well known to be 
profitable in the case of the ostrich, though here 
it entails much trouble and expense, to say nothing 
of positive danger from the powerful males. 

Better than all, in my own private opinion, is the 
importance of game-birds as an adjunct to scenery. 
Although less imposing than the birds of flight, 
the graceful form and conspicuous size and colours 
of many of the larger species make them some of 
the best of ornamental birds ; indeed, the peacock 
is the oldest ' ' fancy ' ' bird known, and is still 
admired where the cultivation of domestic mon- 
strosities has not corrupted public taste. And if 
it has been worth while for humanity, for so many 
centuries, to foster a bird which admittedly has 
many faults, for its beauty alone, we may surelj' 
plead for an extension of protection to aU our finest 
species, even if they had not solid qualities to 
recomrriend them. 

Having said this much in attempted justifica- 
tion of game-birds as a subject for study by the 
most practi'caUy-minded, I may proceed to the 
characteristics of the family, all of which may be 
easily verified on the first chicken that comes to 

The head is notably small for the size of the bird, 
with a small beak, short and stout, with the upper 
profile arched ; the nostrils are roofed over on the 
inner side by a gristly scale ; the mouth is wide, 
running back nearly below the front of the eye 
(N. B. — The beak is to be measured from this point. 


called the gape, to the tip). The neck is long and 
the body stout and heavy ; the wings are short, 
concave, and rounded, the pinion-quills or flight- 
feathefs not projecting noticeably in repose in 
any species ; the legs are powerful, the shanks stout 
and generally covered in front with a double row of 
large scales meeting in a zig-zig seam ; the toes 
are four in number, three spreading ones m front, 
united at the base by a short web, and a much 
smaller one behind, set on at a higher level than 
the rest. The tail varies very much ; in the fowl 
and many other species it is vertically folded in 
repose, but it is often flat like any ordinary bird's. 

Internally, the birds of this family are note- 
worthy for their large crop or food-receptacle in 
the gullet, and powerful gizzard or grinding- 
stomach ; their breast-bone is also remarkable, 
being so deeply cut into at each side by two great 
notches that hardly any of the body of the bone 
is left, and it presents, when cleaned, the appear- 
ance of a narrow central portion bearing the deep 
keel, and a somewhat V-shaped projection on each 

The Phasianidce are as uniform in their habits 
as in their structure, the common fowl bemg a 
fair type of all. They are, however, not all poly- 
gamous like him, nor do they all roost on a perch 
in the same way. Neither are all of them pro- 
vided with spurs — a weapon, by the way, confined 
to this family. But all feed on almost anything 
they can get — seeds, green-food or small animal 
life ; all trust to their legs before their wings, and 
fly violently rather than strongly, generally with 
alternate flappings and sailings ; and all rigor- 
ously avoid bathing, choosing instead to roll in 


sand or dust to rid themselves of dirt and vermin. 
They are very endurant of cold, three out of the 
four domestic species coming from hot climates, 
and yet bearing the English winter well ; but those 
which inhabit temperate regions are generally 
very intolerant of heat. Our hill pheasants, for 
instance, can ill bear the hot weather in the plains. 
All the species usually nest on the ground and lay 
several eggs. 

The young of these birds, as everyone knows, 
can run soon after birth ; they are clothed in soft 
down marked with brown and buff stripes. They 
are able to fly in a few days, and in their first 
feathering they most resemble the old hen, but 
may be known by their pointed quills. So, if 
none but cocks showing the full feathering are 
shot, one is sure of plenty of hens and young cocks 
to carry on the breed, and thus any number of 
males may be secured for food or feathers with 
no deterioration to the stock, but rather to its ad- 
vantage ; for in these so often polygamous birds a 
large proportion of males is a distinct di^dvantage 
for breeding, as one is often sufficient for several 
females, and a larger number means much do- 
mestic discord. 

It is a great help to the beginner in ornithology 
that the general or groups of species in the game- 
birds are so well defined, as will be seen later on. 
Some of them are, indeed, recognised by popular 
names : — thus, we speak of the " peafowl " and 
"jungle-fowl " for the species of Pavo and Gallus 
respectively. But under the general names of 
pheasants, partridges, and quails, several very 
distinct genera are classed in each case. However, 
it seems best in a work intended for beginners 


to maintain these popular distinctions, if only for 
the sake of convenience. 

To commence, then, with the most familiar birds 
of all :— The jungle-fowl are distinguished by their 
combs, fleshy ridges of skin running from the base 
of the beak up the forehead : these are very small 
m the hens, but always discernible, and at once 
mark ofT all our three species of jungle-fowl. 

The peafowl are at once separable by their crest 
and great size ; the shank is five inches long or 
over, none of the other members of the family 
having it as much as five inches. The cock Argus 
comes nearest, but he has a very different tail and 
no crest. 

The quails, on the contrary, are very little 
creatures, the largest quail having a closed wing of 
under five inches, whereas all birds with a wang 
over this length may be reckoned as partridges, 
it being understood that the term merely refers 
to size. 

The real difficulty lies in separatmg the par- 
tridges and pheasants, which make up the bulk of 
the family. 

Pheasants are generally large birds (never under 
eighteen inches long), with the tail as long as the 
wing or longer ; when it is shorter, the difference 
is not more than two inches, and it onl}" reaches 
this in the Tragopans and Monauls. 

Partridges are almost always much smaller than 
pheasants, with proportionately much shorter tails ; 
two partridges, the snow-cocks, are bigger than 
many pheasants, but thej^ have the true partridge 
short tail, about three inches less than the wdng. 


The smallest members of this family have the 
widest distribution, partridges and quails being 
found almost everywhere, the latter being espe- 
cially widely spread. The pheasants, except where 
artificially introduced, do not occur outside of the 
continent of Asia as a rule, one species only, the 
common or Colchian pheasant, occurring in Europe. 
The peafowl and jungle-fowl are confined to the 
warm regions of South-Eastern Asia. Africa is 
held by the guinea-fowls, and North and Central 
America by the turkeys. 

The boundaries between the different species 
and genera are settled by the right of the strongest ; 
at any rate, in England it has been found impos- 
hible to have guinea-fowls, or golden or silver phea- 
sants, wild along with common pheasants, since 
the last are not able to hold their own with these 
birds. When two closely- a.llied species of Fha- 
sianidoe meet, they. interbreed and fuse, and what 
with this hybiidism, and the tendency of some 
species to throw off sports, or "aberrations," as 
students of butterflies would call them, the family 
is a remarkably interesting one, as it undoubtedly 
shows better than any other some cf the methods of 
evolution still actively in progress. . 


Peafowl and Jungle-Fowl. 

As these two geneia are so well known and so 
easily recognised, it is just as well to begin with 
them, although they have no special relationship 
to each other beyond belonging to the same family. 
But it is always best to proceed to the unknown 
from the known, and a consideration of the generic 
arid specific characters of these familiar birds will 
prepare us for the study of the other groups of the 

In the case of the birds now under consideration 
the characters of the genera are particularly well 
marked and recognisable. To take the peafowl 
first. By ' ' peafowl ' ' we understand birds having 
the general characteristics of the Pheasant family 
as described above, with the addition of certain 
peculiarities of their own — ^large size, small-crested 
heads with bare faces, long necks and legs, and, in 
the males, the upper tail coverts, or feathers of the 
lower part of the back, of a loose filamentous tex- 
ture and of enormous length, reaching several feet 
beyond the tail itself, which is of quite ordinary 
structure. The males are spurred, and sometimes 
the females also. 

Peafowl are polygamous in their habits, several 
females associating with one male, who displays 
himself to them by " spreading out his tail," i.e., 
erecting and spreading his upper tail-coverts with 


the tail braced up behind. But this gesture is com- 
mon to hens and young birds also under any excite- 
ment, and it is very doubtful whether the peacock 
"knows whai he looks like, in spite of his age-long 
reputation for pride. And, although peahens are 
known to display marked preference foi partic- 
ular cocks, it has never been proved that they 
choose the most beautiful. So there is a great 
deal to be made out even about these familiar 

Peafowls are lovers of trees, on which they roost 
at night, and, like many game-birds, prefer to be 
near water. Their flight looks less laboured than 
that of other birds of this tribe, as their large 
wings flap comparatively slowly, but they cannot 
sustain a' lengthened flight, and may even in some 
cases be run down. But they ai e very strong on their 
legs, and run remarkably well. They have the 
reputation of affecting the vicinity of tigers, and 
it would be interesting to know the reason of this. 
It is impossible that the same locality suits both 
creatures, and that the birds, fiom their very fear 
of the tiger, are led to keep near him in order to 
be informed of his movements, which certainly 
interest them, as they are always very wary birds. 

The ,note of the common peacock has always 
been cast up to him as a defect, but it is really rot 
an unpleasant call when heard far enough off ; and 
it has evidently given him his name in seveial lan- 
guages, the Greek Taos, French Paon, German 
Pfau, Dutch Pamiw and Hindi Mor, all distinctly 
recalling the well-known note. Another point 
against these birds is their destructiveness in 
gardens ; but against this may be set the great 
virtue that the peacock is well known to destroy 


small snakes, even of poisonous species. More- 
over, peachicks are excellent for food, although 
the old birds are too tough for anything but making 
soup of. The genus Pavo is only found in South- 
east Asia, and comprises two species, of which by 
far the best known is our familiar Indian bird. 

The Common or Indian Peacock. 

Pavo cristatus, Fauna Brit. India, Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 68. 

Native names : — Mor, Manjur, Hind. ; 
Taus, P. Landuri (the female), Mahra.tta 
Manja (the male). Mania (the female), 
Uriya ; Mabja, Bhotanese ; Mong-yung, 
Lepcha ; Moir, Assamese ; Dode, Garo ; 
Myl, Tamul ; Nimili, Telugu ; Nowl, 
Canr.rese ; Monara, Cingalese. 

In this species of peafowl both sexes possess a 
crest formed of feathers webbed only at the tips, 
so that each is like a little fan with a long handle ; 
moreover the bare skin of the face is white, and 
the feniale's plumage is altogether different from 
the male's, even allowing for the absence of the 

The cock's head and neck are of a lovely rich 
greenish blue; his upper back golden green with 
black edgings, making the feathers look like scales ; 
the train, or long tail-coverts, green changing to 
copper-red, with blue-and-purple eye-like spots : 
the real tail is brown, and the wings are pale dun or 
creamy buff with irregular black bars, except the 
pinion-quills which aie blight chestnut, and the 
nearest secondary quills which are black. The under- 




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parts are black with a green gloss, except the 
thighs, which are light drab. 

The hen has a chestnut head and white throat. 
Her general colour is drab, with the quills and tail 
darker, and the lower part of the breast buffy 
white ; the neck has; a strong green gloss, as has 
also the tip of the crest. 

Young cocks are at first like hens, but have a 
certain amount of black pencilling ; their chestnut 
quills will also distinguish them, at once. They 
are three years in coming into full colour. 

Both sexes have daik eyes and daik horn-colour 
bills and feet. A fine cock may measure more than 
seven feet to the end of his train ; the real tail is 
twenty inches in length only ; and the closed wing 
about two inches less. The shank will be about 
five and three-quarter inches long, and the bill 
nearly two from the gape. 

The hen is a little over a yard long, and has a pro- 
portionately shorter true tail, this being only 
thirteen inches, and the closed wing sixteen ; the 
shank about five only. 

This is the peacock par excellence, for although 
confined as a wild bird to India and Ceylon, it 
has been domesticated for many centuries, and is 
known all over the civilised world. 

It does not ascend the Himalayas, as a rule, 
over 2,000 feet, though it may range above 5,000 
on the Nilgiris ; which makes it somewhat remark- 
able that it can bear the English climate in winter 
without protection. 

In many places it is held sacred and found in a 
semi-domesticated condition, this being the case 


in Sind, Guzerat, Cutch and Rajputana. In any 
case, it is to be hoped that this magnificent bird 
will be spared as much as possible by sportsmen 
every wheie, since for its peculiar beauty it has no 
rival, save the even more magnificent bird next 
to be described. 

Peafowl are not so quarrelsome as most of this 
family, for several cocks will show off together ; the 
hens usually lay, in the rains, about ha.lf-a-dozen 
eggs, of some shade of buff, and nearly three inches 
long. The nest is of course rtsually on the ground, 
but has been met with in elevated situations, and 
it is worth knowing that the eggs are delicious 

Buff vai'ieties of this peacock have been met >.vith 
in the wild state, and iii domestication it is some- 
times white or pied, and at times produces a most 
remarkable vaiiety, the Japan or black-winged 
peacock (Pavo mgripennis of Sclater). In this 
form the cock's wings and thighs are black, the 
former being glossed with blue and green ; the 
pinion-quills remain chestnut. The hen of the 
variety is white, grizzled and splashed above with 
black, with a black tail, and with chestnut pinion- 
quills like the cock. The legs in botli sexes are 
dirty white, not dark as in the normal form. The 
variety is distinct from the egg, the chicks being 
white, though the young cocks soon show dark 
feathers. Were it not known definitely to ori- 
ginate, in either sex, as a " sport ' ' from the 
ordinary tame peafowl, this variety would cer- 
tainly be ranked as a good species, since as a general 
rule it breeds true, and even when smaller and 
weaker, has been known ultimately to swamp the 

Photo Copyright. 

L. Medland. 

Burmese Peafowl, Hen, 


original type when all breed indiscriihinately 
together in domestication. 

The Green Peacock. 

Pavo muticus, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, Vol. 
IV, p. 70. 

Native names : — Daung, Udaung, Burmese ; 
Marait, Talain ; Tusia, Karen ; Burong 
merak, Malay. 

In this species the hen, except for the absence 
of the train, closely resembles the cock ; the crest 
in both sexes is longer than in the common peafowl,, 
and composed of feathers webbed all the way down, 
but gradually broadening from the root upwards, 
and with rounded tips ; the bare face also is blue 
above and yellow below ; moreover, the present 
bird is a little larger. 

The cock's plumage bears a general resemblance 
to that of the common peacock, but differs strik- 
ingly in the neck being bronze green, the feathers 
having a scale-like appearance. Moreover, the 
wings, except the chestnut pinion-quills, are black 
wjth a blue and green gloss, and the thighs black, 
as in the black-winged variety of the common bird. 
The hen has the same bronze-green neck and dark 
glossy wings, but her back is dark brown, coarsely 
pencilled with buff, instead of green as in the cock, 
and the train is replaced by feathers of a more 
ordinary length and texture, though reaching to 
the end of the tail ; these are golden green with 
irregular coarse pencilling of bufl. 

Young birds are like her, but show some buff 
edgings to the feathers. Young cocks may be 


distinguished from hens by having the little patch 
of feathers between the bill and the eye glossy 
green, this patch in the hen being rusty brown. 

The legs and bill are blackish horn-colour, and 
the hen has spurs as well as the cock. 

This species extends from Chittagong to Java, 
being the ordinary peafowl of Burma, but it is 
local and not abundant in most places, though it 
is so in some parts of Upper Burma. It has a 
quite different note from the ordinary peacock, 
this being a Subdued scream in several syllables 
' ' ayau-katt-kati-kau-kau ' ' ; this is not at aU 
annoying and would make the present bird a formid- 
able rival to the other as a fancy bird were it not 
more delicate, and more spiteful in the case of the 
male. Little is known about its breeding. In 
captivity it has crossed with the common peafowl, 
the hybrid, judging from a young male in the 
British Museum, exhibiting a mingling of the colours 
of the parents, but in its crest following the com- 
mon species exclusively. 

The jungle-fowls are birds of a ^'ery different 
type,- and also stand much alone, although they 
have an obvious affinity to the ruffed pheasants, 
to be mentioned later. Their characteristic points 
are the comb, large in the cocks and small in the 
hens, and the vertically folded tail, the undersides 
of the feathers facing each other. These char- 
acteristics apply to both sexes; the cocks alone, 
however, have the two central tail-feathers long 
and curved, and are furnished with long and sharp 
spurs, besides differing altogether from the hens 
in colour. Jungle fowls, except that they carry 
their tails low, much resemble tame fowls of rather 


small size, and are thus very easily recognisable ; 
the various species are very distinct from each 
other, and only four in number ; three of them 
occur in Indian limits. 

The jungle-fowls are fond of cover, and roost 
on trees at night, a habit which the tame fowl has 
retained. His habit of crowing at night is, how- 
ever, an original invention on his part, for which 
mankind used once tO' thank him, but now, alas ! 
legally indict as a nuisance. 

Jungle-fowls are often found in pairs, though a 
cock naturally likes to have a hare9i if possible, 
and they are very hard fighters. The cocks show 
off by slanting themselves over to one side, as is 
constantly seen in the tame fowl. 

The Red Jungle-Fowl. 

Gallus ferrugineus, Faun. Brit. India, Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 75. 

Native names : — Jangal-murgh (cock), Jangli- 
murghi (hen), Hindi ; Ban murghi, Hindi ; 
Kukar, Kukra, Bankukar, Beng. ; Gdnja 
(cock), Uriya ; Pazok-iohi,. Tang-kling, 
Lepcha ; Nag-tse-ia, Bhota nese ; Bir-sim, 
Kol ; Gera gogor (cock), Kuru (hen), Gond ; 
Taukyet, Burmese.; Kura, Chittagong. 

In this the best known species and the ancestor 
of all our tame poultry, the face is naked in both 
sexes, though less in the hen than the cock, and 
there is a flap of skin below the ear--the " ear- 
lobe ' ' of poultry-fanciers. The wattles, fleshy 
flaps of skin on each side of the throat, are usually 


wanting in the hen, whose comb is also very small. 
Even in the cock the comb, which is of the notched 
' ' single ' ' type so familiar in tame fowls, is not 
so large a one as is carried by these latter. 

The cock's plumage is black below and orange 
and red above, the neck and rump being covered 
by long, loose-textured feathers called ' ' hackles ' ' 
by fanciers. The tail, which has long curving 
upper tail-coverts hanging along each side of it, is 
glossy deep green, and the wings are a fine study 
in the arrangement of plumage, being deep glossy 
red, dark metallic green, black, and chestnut, put 
together in a diagrammatic manner most useful 
to ornithological students ; for the minor wing 
coverts, the small feathers along the front edge of 
the wing, are black, the median, red, the major, 
metallic green, forming a conspicuous bar ; while 
the primaries or pinion-qmiUs are dingy black with 
paler edges and the outer halves of the secondaries 
or forearm-quills are cinnamon. Thus, by getting 
hold of a tame cock which shows the jungle-fowl 
colours, and such are not at all uncommon, one 
may master several technicalities with great ease. 

After breeding, the cock casts his long neck- 
hackles and tail-feathers, the neck becoming clothed 
with a short black feathering. It is somewhat 
remarkable that no such change usually takes 
place in the tame fowl, even in India. 

The cock is well over two feet long, with a wing 
about nine inches and shank three inches. 

The hen is brown above, the colour being pro- 
duced by a very fine pencilling of black and buff ; 
below she is a plain reddish brown. Her neck, 
which is covered with short hackles, is streaked 


with black and gold, and the side feathers of the 
tail are black. It is a curious fact that few tame 
hens are coloured exactly like this. 

The hen is about seventeen inches long, with a 
wing just over seven and shank about two and a 
half inches. 

Young cocks, as usual, are much like the hen at 
first. The comb and wattles are red, and the face 
reddish flesh-colour ; the beak dark brown, eyes 
red, and legs slate-colour. The ear-lobes are usu- 
ally white in Indian specimens and red in those 
from further east, which also tend to be redder 
in plumage. 

This species ranges from India, through Burma 
and the Shan States, to Siam, Cochin China, the 
Malay Peninsula and many eastern islands ; but 
its precise natural range is not quite certain, as, 
being the ancestor of domestic fowls, it is apt to 
give rise to feral or secondarily wild races, owing 
to the escape or intentional liberation of tame 
poultry. It especially frequents low elevations 
on hills, and likes cover near cultivation ; and in 
such places it often interbreeds with its tame des- 

The voice of this bird is just like that of the tame 
fowl, but in the case of the cock's crow the resem- 
blance is to that of the Bantam breeds, the last 
note being short. It breeds from March to June, 
laying up to eleven pale buff eggs in a rough nest 
on the ground. The eggs are small, scarcely ex- 
ceeding two inches in length. 

The red jungle-fowl, in India, is practically con- 
fined to the region where the sal-tree (Shorea 
robusta) grows ; so much is this the case that an 


isolated wood of this tree, near Panchmarhi in 
the Denura valley, is occupied by this species, 
although the gray jungle-fowl (Gallus sonneratii), 
presently to be noticed, holds all the territory 
roundabout. The reason for this would be a very 
interesting subject for inquiry, and no doubt some 
forest ofificer will be able sooner or later to afford 
a solution of the problem. The red jungle-fowl 
is a very hard fighter, and no doubt sal jungle has 
some special attraction which makes him keep it 
to himself. In a domesticated state this species 
is found, as everyone knows, all over the world 
where it can be got to live, and its endurance of 
cold is most remarkable considering its tropical 

Many breeds have, of course, been raised from it 
by the selection of variations in shape and colour, 
but India seems to possess no particular breed 
except the fighting Aseel and the long lanky Chit- 
tagong, the ' ' Malay ' ' of home fanciers. Both 
of these are characterised by very small combs 
and wattles and short glossy plumage, which in 
the cocks often resembles that of the wild bird, 
but in hens apparently never or very rarely. The 
Aseel, however, is short and sturdy, not lengthy 
in make like its relative. 

With regard to the foreign breeds now being 
imported, I should advise any of my readers who 
is starting to keep such fowls, to avoid aU the 
feather-legged and five-toed varieties, such as the 
Brahma, Cochin, and Dorking, such montrosities 
of structure sadly handicapping a fowl's useful- 
ness. In Calcutta there can generally be obtained 
excellent black China fowls, the ' ' Langshan ' ' 
of the fancy at home. This is a large bird of some- 


what the Cochin type but less clumsy, and with 
very little feathering on the legs ; many imported 
birds, in fact, having none. This is an excellent 
general utility fowl, and personally I should never 
trouble to send home for stock while such birds can 
be had in the country. 

The Ceylon Jungle-Fowl. 

Gallus lafayettii. Faun. Brit. India, Birds 
Vol. IV. 

Native names : — Weli kukula (the male), 
Well kikili (the female), Cingalese ; kola 
koli, Tamils of Ceylon. 

The cock of this species bears a strong general 
resemblance to the red jungle-cock, but is orange- 
red below as well as above, the breast feathers 
being glossy and pointed — very like hackles in 
fact. The secondary quills . of the wing are also 
purple-black instead of chestnut. 

The throat and most of the rump-feathers, which 
are not so long and hackled as in the continental 
bird, are glossy violet, and the tail has a purple 
rather than a green gloss. 

The comb also in this species has a yellow patch 
in the middle ; the face and wattles are darker 
and the legs are yellow instead of slate-colour. 

The ben is quite as different in her way from the 
red jungle-fowl hen ; she is of much the same par- 
tridge-brown hue above, but has no distinct hackle 
on the neck ; her wings are boldly barred with 
black, and her under-parts not cinnamon but 


mottled black, brown and white, becoming lighter 
further back. Her legs are yellow like the cock's. 
She has no wattles, and is feathered on the 

Young cocks are redder above and darker below 
than hens. The size of this species is about the 
same as that of the red jungle-fowl, except that 
the cock's tail is longer ; the hen's, on the other 
hand, appears to be shorter in this species. 

The Ceylon jungle-fowl is confined to the island 
' ' where every prospect pleases ; ' ' but the parts 
thereof that especially gratify the tastes of the 
bird are the northern jungles and the southern 
hills. There seems to be a good deal of variation 
in the breeding season and also in the number of 
eggs laid, which is given as from two or twelve by 
different authors. There is nothing noteworthy 
about the appearance of these eggs. 

The crow of the Ceylon cock is very different 
from that of the rival chanticleer of India, being 
two-syllabled and commonly rendered as a call to 
one " George Joyce." A Ceylon planter, how- 
ever, told me recently that the general opinion 
nowadays was that the bird's friend's name was 

The cock is a gentleman of somewhat Don Juan- 
like instincts, and apt to intrude on the domestic 
happiness of village roosters, without the excuse 
that the red jungle-fowl can offer of community 
of descent. 


The Grey or Madras Jungle-Fowl. 

Gallus sonnerati. Faun, Brit. India, Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 78. 

Native names : — Jungli murghi, Hind. ; 
Komri, Mt. Abu ; Pnrdah Komri, Gondhi ; 
Ran-kombadi, Mahr. ; Kathe kozhi or koli, 
Tamil ; Adavi kode, Telugu ; koli, kad 
koli, Canarese. 

This species also is much of the same size as the 
red jungle-fowl, but in the cock the tail runs very 
distinctly longer, and may measure as much as a 
foot-and-a-half long. The tail-coverts, however, 
are not long and curved as in the red jungle-fowl, 
nor are there any hackles on the rump. 

The general colour of the cock is dark grey, the 
feathers having white shafts and grey edges, the 
wing-quills and tail are purple-black, and the neck 
feathers and those of the upper back and flat of 
the wing are tipped with sealing wax-like spots, 
orange on the wing and golden yellow on the neck. 
These curious tips are formed by a coalescence of 
the barbs of the feathers into a horny plate, and 
are found in a few other birds not at all allied to 
"this family. There are rudimentary spots of 
the kind on the rump feathers, and a tinge of red 
on the flanks. 

The bill is horn-colour, comb, wattles, and face 
red, the ' ' ear-lobe ' ' being indicated by a fold of 
skin ; and the legs are usually said to be yellow, 
but in fine cocks they are salmon-coloui . The 
cock moults his hackles after breeding, like the red 


The hen, which has a very small comb and no 
wattles, is of a partridge-brown above with no 
distinct hackles, and white beneath with black 
edges to the feathers, getting narrower further 
back ; her legs are dull faint yellow, and her comb 
a very dull red. 

This bird, which is very striking in appearance 
and much admired by everyone who notices it, is 
confined to Southern and Western India, inhabit- 
ing hilly jungle and ranging even to the tops of 
the Nilgris and Pulneys. "It is found, " says 
Blanford, ' ' near the eastern coasts as far north 
as the Godavari, and in the Central Provinces its 
limit is some distance east of Sironcha, Ghanda 
and Seoni. It is found throughout the Nerbudda 
valley west of Jubbulpore, and in parts of Central 
India and Rajputana, as far as the Aravalis and 
Mount Abu, but no farther to the northward or 
westward. It is met with near Baroda, but has 
not been observed in Kattyawar." In spite of 
the local intrusion of the red jungle-fowl into the 
grey's territory, mentioned in the account of the 
former species, it will be seen that on the whole 
their habitats are very distinct ; but of course 
they meet occasionally. Jerdon says that near 
the junction of the Indravati with the Godavari 
he heard both species crowing within a few yards of 
each other, and shot one bird which was an im- 
doubted hybrid — a remarkable fact, for hybrids 
between such distinct species as these are rare in 

The grey jungle-fowl differs very much in voice 
from the red bird and its poultry-yard descend- 
ant ; but as authors say, the crow is very hard to 
describe, sounding more like a cackle, and the bird 


does not flap his wings before uttering it. Birds 
I have seen in confinement had a peculiar alarm- 
note when approached, sounding like " koorchy- 
koorchy,'" quite different from the cackle of the 
common fowl. 

The breeding-season of this bird varies, being 
usually from March to July, but on the western 
side of the Neilgherries it is from October to De- 
cember. The eggs number from seven to thirteen, 
and are buff-coloured and laid as usual on the 
ground with sometimes a few dry leaves below. 

On account of its beautiful and distinct appear- 
ance, the sport it affords — for it is a wary bird — and 
the value of its feathers, this would be a good 
species to acclimatise outside India wherever there 
is a warm dry climate. Thus it would be excel- 
lently suited for turning out at the Cape, or in 
Australia or California ; such extension of the 
habitat of a desirable bird where it does not inter- 
fere with another equally desirable, being in my 
opinion really justifiable acclimatisation. 

The Green Jungle-Fowl. 

Gallus varius, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol, XXII, 
P- 352- 

This beautiful bird is mostly black, with an orange patch on 
the wing, and a ruff of round-tipped bronze-green feathers in- 
stead of the usual neck hackle. He has no ear-lobe or wattles, 
but an expansible dewlap rather like a turkey's, and his comb 
is not notched. It and the dewlap are most exquisitely col- 
oured with puce and pale blue, with a yellow patch on the throat ; 
and the face is flesh-colour, often flushing to scarlet. The hen 
has no comb or wattles, and is barred with black and brown, 
the black being much more in evidence than in the hens of other 
jungle-fowL This species is found in the Malayan Islands from 
Java to Flores ; the crow of the cock is a shrill shriek in three 
syllables, very like the cry of the gold pheasant in tone. 


Tragopans, Monauls, Etc. 

We now come to the large and often long-tailed 
game birds, commonly known as pheasants, to 
which may be referred eleven genera, containing 
more than a score of species between them. To 
distinguish the cocks is quite easy, but the hens, 
being dull-coloured, are less readily recognised, 
though anyone who will observe carefully enough 
will be able to refer any hen pheasant to her proper 
gioup also, as there are always some points she 
shares with her mate. 

In three genera the tail is short in both sexes, 
not being longer than the wing even in the cocks, 
and being shorter in the hens. In this respect they 
approach the partridges, but they are never less 
than about eighteen inches long, which is much 
bigger than any partridge except the great Ram- 
chukors or snow-cocks. And in these there is a 
difference of three inches between the length of 
the wing and tail ; whereas in these short-tailed 
pheasants the wing never exceeds the tail by so 
much as this. 

These genera are the Tragopans, Monauls, and 
Blood-Pheasants, which are easily distinguished 
from any others of the family. 

The Blood-Pheasant is only about eighteen inches 
long, with very long, soft plumage and bright red 


The Monauls (two species) are large birds, two 
feet long or more, with unusually large bills for 
game-birds, and short legs ; the bill from gape to 
tip is about two-thirds the length of the shank. 

The Tragopans (three species) are also large, 
about two feet long ; but their bills are remarkably 
small, and their legs rather long, the bill being less 
than haif the length of the shank. 

In five genera the tail is distinctly longer than 
ihe wing, even in the hen, and very long indeed 
in the cock, this being the typical pheasant shape 
of tail, with the centre feathers much the longest. 
These groups are easily made out. 

The Argus has a bare head and the piimary 
quills distinctly shorter than the secondaries, 
which more than cover them. 

The Peacock Pheasant has a long broad tail with 
rounded tips to the feathers. 

The Typical Pheasants (two species) have long 
tails with pointed tips to the feathers ; the males 
have a bare red skin round the eye. 

The Cheer Pheasant has a very long-pointed tail 
and a crest, with a red skin round the eye in both 

The Amherst Pheasant has a long-pointed tail 
and a pale blue or green skin round the eye in both 
sexes, with a ruff in the male. 

There remains three genera with tails of 
length, taking males and females together ; the 
tail being about as long as the wing or shorter in 
the latter, and rather longer in the former, though 
never so extravagantly long as in the last group. 


The tail is, even in the short-tailed hens, much 
graduated, with the outside pair of feathers only 
half as long as the middle ones, which is not the 
case in the short-tailed pheasants alluded to above, 
whose tails are merely rounded. Of this section : — 

The Koklass Pheasants (two species) are dis- 
tinguished by having the face feathered all over,^ 
and most of their feathers pointed-tipped. 

The Fire-back has, in both sexes, a short folded 
tail, much like a common hen's, and a bare bright 
blue face. 

The Kaleeges (about half-a-dozen species) have 
crests in both sexes, and also a bare red face, with 
tails long or short, folded like a fowl's. The exact 
number of species in this group is uncertain, and 
the length of the tail varies in the cocks, but as a 
whole they are very recognisable. 

To discuss the short-tailed genera first : the 
Tragopans, in addition to their large size, small 
bills, and rounded shortish tails, are notable for 
their long, slender toes and intricately mottled 
plumage. The tail is carried low, and is inclined 
to fold. 

In the cocks the plumage is always more or less 
mixed with red and speckled with light spots ; 
they also have a full crest, and fleshy horns and a 
dewlap, most developed in the breeding-season,, 
and expansible. The dewlap at most times is a 
mere fold of skin along the throat, and the horns 
lie concealed in the crest. But when the bird 
faces the female to show off, the horns elongate 
themselves and the dewlap comes down and spreads 
out into a bib or apron, showing the most brilliant 


colours. The cock also shows off by slanting 
himself over, like a common fowl. 

Tn most male birds of this genus the face is bare, 
and they are provided with spurs. The coloura- 
tion of this sex is very complicated and beautiful, 
but it is not necessary to describe it fully, as the 
different species are readily recognisable. The 
hens have no fleshy appendages or crest, and are 
feathered up to the eyes ; they have shorter tails 
than the cocks, and no spurs. Their plumage 
is a very intricate pepper-and-salt mixture, a 
great deal easier to recognise than to describe. 

Tragopans inhabit hill forest at a high elevation, 
and are great skulkers, avoiding observation as 
much as possible. They spend a great deal of 
their time in trees, feeding on leaves and berries 
to a very large extent. 

The note of the cock Tragopans is most remark- 
able, being compared to a bleat or a bellow rather 
than a crow, but they are silent birds, as a rule, 
except in the breeding season. They are not easy 
to shoot, and sometimes rather poor eating, but 
for their peculiar beauty of plumage they are 
unrivalled. Only five species are known, all Indian 
or Chinese. Our birds are often called Argus 
Pheasants, but the real Argus is a very different 
bird, as will be shown later. 


The Crimson Tragopan. 

Tragopan satyr a. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 99. 

Native names : — Lungi, Hind, in Garhwal 
and Kumaun ; Monal in Nepal ; Omo, 
Bap, Bhutia ; Tar-rhyak, Lepcha. 

In this species the male's face and throat are 
thinly feathered ; the general plumage is rich red 
on the neck and below, and mottled black and 
brown above, sprinkled nearly all over with round 
white spots edged with black ; the head and tail 
are black, with a red band round the back of the 
former ; the bend of.the wing is also red, and there 
are red patches on the mottied brown plumage of 
the rest of the wing and the rump. 

The bill is blackish brown, the horns sky-blue, 
and the skin of the face and the throat rich deep 
blue, the bib being blue, with large red lateral spots 
when expanded ; the eyes are dark and the legs 

The hen is of a rich brown, paler below, grizzled 
and mixed with black and buff. Her beak is dark 
horn-colour, and her legs fleshy grey. 

Young birds are like the hen, but distinctly 
streaked with buff ; young cocks assume male 
plumage very gradually. 

The male is well over two feet long, with wing 
and tail each about ten inches, and shank over 
three, and twice as long as the bill. The hen is 
under two feet, with the tail shorter than the wing. 

This species, one of the most richly-coloured 
birds in existence, inhabits the Himalayas from 
Garhwal to Bhootan, ranging according to season 


from six to twelve thousand feet in elevation. It 
breeds in May, laying eggs much like large hen's 
eggs, white with pale dull lilac markings, and about 
two and-a-half inches long. 

The Black or Western Tragopan. 

Tragopan melanocephalus, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. loi. 

Native names : — Jewar, Jowar, in Garhwal ; 
Jaighi, Jajhi, Bashahr ; Sing-monal, Hindi 
in N.-W. Himalayas ; Jigurana (the 
cock), Budal (the hen), Kulu, Mandi and 
Suket ; Falgur, Chamba. 

This bird has a longer crest than the Crimson 
Tragopan, and is a little larger, with a slightly shorter 
tail ; the face of the. cock is also bare. His pre- 
vailing colour is black, grizzled' with buff above, 
and spotted with white both there and below. 
The. neck is red, brightest in front ; and the top of 
the crest and bend of the wing are also red ;. there 
is also a certain admixture of red below the breast. 
The bill is blackish, eyes brown, legs flesh-colour- 
ed, and horns blue as usual ; but the bare face is 
bright red, and the dewlap purple in the middle, 
and showing spots of blue and flesh-colour at the 

The hen is of a grizzled brown, much greyer in 
tone than that of the Crimson Tragopan hen, and 
with the pale spots below — ^which are white, not 
buff — better defined and dark-bordered. Her feet 
are grey. 

This bird inhabits the North-Western Hima- 
layas from Garhwal to Hazara. It nowhere meets 


the crimson species, their respective limits being 
separated by a distance of about four days' march. 
It keeps near the snow in summer, descending 
lower in winter. The eggs, six in number, of a 
pale buff minutely freckled, were taken in Hazara 
in May by Captain Lautour. They seem to be 
slightly smaller than those of the red species. 

The Grey-breasted or Assam Tragopan. 

Tragopan blyfMi, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 

Vol. IV, p. 102. 

Native names : — Hur-huria, Sansaria, Assam ; 
Gnu, Angami Naga ; Ckingtho, Kuki. 

This is smaller than the other Indian species, 
and has a shorter crest and tail. The male has a 
black head, with red eye-brows meeting behind, 
the neck and bend of the wing red as usual, 
and the underparts below the breast smoky grey ; 
the upper plumage is black mottled with buff and 
spotted with white and red; the tail is black. The 
bare face and throat are yellow, running into green 
below ; the bill and eyes dark, the horns blue, and 
the feet flesh-coloured as in other male Tragopans. 

The hen is of the usual hen Tragopan giizzle, 
less grey in tone than the black Tragopan ben ; 
from the hen of the crimson species she may be 
distinguished by having a greater proportion of 
black above, and being mottled with dirty cream- 
colpTjr instead of buff below, the upper and under 
surface being thus more strongly contrasted than 
in the other. These hen Tragopans are easy enough 
to distinguish on comparison, but as no two species 
inhabit the same tract, this will rarely be necessary. 


Temminck's Tragopan, Cock. 

L. Medland. 


Amherst Pheasant, Cock. 

L, Medland: 


, The present species inhabits Manipur and the 
Naga Hills south of Assam, ranging from five to 
ten thousand feet according to season, like the 
other species. It has also been known to occur 
in the Dafla Hills north of Assam. It feeds chiefly 
on berries and affects high oak forest. Its breed- 
ing in the wild state is not known, but an egg laid 
in confinement was buff finely speckled with red- 
dish brown. I have seen in the London Zoo a 
hybrid cock, bred between this species and the 
T. temminckii mentioned below. It hardly showed 
the cross at all, almost precisely resembling a pure T. 
blythii, and having the same yellow and green throat, 
but the grey under-parts were variegated with red. 

The Grey-Spotted or Temminck's Tragopan. 

Tragopan tentmincki, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds 
Vol. XXII, p. 275. 

This may be distinguished from the crimson 
Tragopan, which it much resembles, by having 
the light spots on the plumage larger, grey instead 
of white, and without the black bonders ; the face 
is also bare of feathers, the hens of the two species 
are alike. This Tragopan is found in South China, 
and has been obtained in our territory near 

The Buff or Cabot'$ Tragopan. 

Tragopan caboti, Brit. Mos. Cat, Birds, VoL XXII, 
p. 277. 

The male of the bnfi Tragopan is entirely plain bii£E below, 
and is spotted with bnfi above on a grotuid of mottled red and 
black ; the bare face is scarlet, with bine eyebrows. The hen 


may be distinguished from that of the crimson Tragopan, whiclj 
she much resembles, by her smaller size. This species is also 
Chinese. The eggs, buff, thickly speckled, with pale-brown, and 
four in number, have been taken from an old squirrel's nest 
30 feet up in a tree, and in captivity this species has also 
nested in an old nest in a tree. 

The Monauls are very easily recognisable birds, 
being of large size and stout and heavy make, 
with comparatively large heads and bills, short 
shanks — shorter than the middle toe, and tails of 
only medium length, flat and nearly square like 
a pigeon's. There is a bare blue space round the 
eye in both sexes, but in plumage they differ 
absolutely, and the cocks only possess spurs, which 
are not very long. Four species are known, of 
which two are Indian. 

The Common Monaul or Impeyan Pheasant. 

Lophophorus refulgens, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 96. 

Native names :—Lont (male), Hani (female), 
Nil-mor, yung-limor, Kashmir ; Nilgur, 
Chamba ; Munal, Nil (male), Karari 
(female), Kulu ; Mundl, Ghar-Mundl, Ratia 
Kawan, Rabnal, Ratkap, N.-W. Hima- 
layas; Datiya, Kumaun and Garhwal ; 
Dafia, Nepalese ; Fo-dong, Lepcha ; Cham- 
dong, Bhutias of Sikkim. 

The male Monaul has a fine crest of feathers 
with shafts bare nearly to the tip, where there is 
a lance-head-shaped webbed portion ; it is more 
or less erect. This crest and the head generally 
and a streak along each side of the breast are of 
an intensely brilliant burnished-green ; the back 


of the neck is burnished copper-red, changing to 
golden-green in some lights ; the upper part of the 
back is bronze-green, the lower silver-white. This 
latter colour is usually concealed by the wings, 
which are metallic purple with metallic blue 
tips to the feathers. The under -surface of the 
body is velvety black, and the tail cinnamon. 

The hen has a short crest of ordinary feathers ; she 
is of a mottled-brown, the light marking tending to 
run in streaks. Her throat is pure white, and her 
general appearance is much like that of a huge 

The young birds resemble her ; the young male, 
however, has a buff patch on the back where the 
white one is found in the adult : he does not attain 
his full plumage till the second year, and even then, 
curiously enough, the seventh pinion-quill remains 
brown for a year more. 

The beak of the Monaul is horn-colour and the 
legs olive-green — ^what is called ' ' willow ' ' by 
poultry fanciers. The bright blue face noted above 
is most characteristic of these birds. The cock is 
about twenty-eight inches long, with the wing nearly 
a foot and the tail nine and a hajf, the shank three 
inches in length and the bill two. The hen is a 
little over two feet long. 

The common Monaul is found throughout the 
Himalayas, and even extends west to Afghanistan 
and Chitral. It varies its vertical range according 
to the time of year and the part of the hills inhab- 
ited, going higher in the Eastern Himalayas 
than the Western, and of course much higher in 
summer than in winter. It is not likely to be 


found, however, above 15,000 or below 4,500 feet 
at any time. 

It is usually a forest bird, although in summer 
it may be found out on the grassy slopes above 
the level of trees. Only a few are seen in com- 
pany, males being more solitary than females. 
The food is especially composed of grubs and roots, 
the Monaul being much addicted to digging, an 
operation it performs with its beak, for it does not 
scratch like most birds of this family. The com- 
paratively large bill, however, forms a most effec- 
tive hoe, and the bird is probably of great use in 
the forest in turning over the surface and destroy- 
ing insect pests. . 

It is likewise most excellent eatmg, and carries 
a great deal of meat, so that it is in every waj' a 
bird to be encouraged. 

The Monaul breeds in May and June, the hen 
laying sometimes as many as six eggs, but gener- 
ally fewer, in a nest imder a bush or tuft of grass. 
The eggs are buff, speckled with brown, like turkey's 
eggs. The display of the cock is of the frontal 
type, the attitude being much like that of the 
turkey. His call is a loud plaintive whistle, unlike 
the harsh notes of most birds of this family ; and 
the hen's note is similar. 

It is worth knowing, considering how many 
people now reside in the hUls for long periods, 
that the Monaul is capable of complete domesti- 
cation ; the birds may be brought up so tame that 
they can be allowed to go about at large like poul- 
try. The species is also a very suitable one for 
acclimatisation as a game bird wherever congenial 
localities exist, as it affords good sport, being wary 


and readily taking wing. The cock varies a good 
deal in colour, black, white and pied varieties, and 
others with the copper on the neck replaced by 
steel-blue having been recorded. The last-named 
has been described as a distinct species under the 
name of Lophofhorus mantoui. 

The Bronze-backed Monaul. 

Lophophorus impeyanus, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 97. 

The male of this species resembles the last in 
size and form, but differs in having the lowei back 
bronze and purple instead of white, and the under- 
parts glossed with green instead of being jet black. 
The hen is not known, and only a very few of the 
other sex have been obtained, all in Chamba, 
south-east of Kashmir. 

It seems, from an account by Major G. S. 
Rodon, in the Journal of the Bombay Natural 
History Society, that the native shikaries of the 
locality say that this form is merely a ' ' sport ' ' 
from the common Monaul, which likewise occurs 
there. Considering the proneness of the common 
species to variation, and the unlikelihood of two 
species of pheasants, differing only in colour, re- 
maining distinct in the same district, I am strongly 
inclined to think that their account is correct, and 
that the Bronze-backed Monaul, like the Black- 
winged Peacock, is not a true species, though 
excellently exemplifying a variation from which a 
species may arise. The subject is one which would 
well repay investigation, and I hope that anyone 
who may be living in Chamba will look out for a 


cock Monaul showing no white upon the back, and 
thenceforward investigate his family and rela- 
tionships, if possible. It is a pity to kill the bird, 
as the form is now known, and it would be more 
interesting scientifically to find out about its pro- 
pagation, although, of course, breeding in con- 
finement would be an easier and simpler means 
to this end. 

The Crestless Monaul. 

Lophophorus sclateri, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, VoL 
XXII, p. 282. 

This species differs markedly from the common Monaul ia 
having no crest, but the crown of the cock covered with short 
curly or frizzled feathers. The wings are also shorter. In gen- 
eral colour the two species are very similar, but the male of the 
crestless bird has the upper tail-coverts and tip of the tail white 
as well as the rump. In the hen the rump is very light and the 
tail has a broad white tip. This species inhabits the Mishmi 

Lhuys's Monaul. 

Lophophorus I'huysii, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 81. 

Native names. — Pae-mow-ky, Ho-than-ky, Chinese. 

This is larger than the common Monaul, and has a crest of 
ordinary-shaped feathers. The general colour is similar to that 
of the common species, but with more of the copper-colour, and 
the tail glossy green and blue instead of cinnamon. The hen dif- 
fers from the common Monaul hen in having a large white patch 
on the back. This species inhabits Western Szechuen and 
Eastern Koko-nor, and is said to be becoming very rare through 
persecution by the natives. 


The Blood-Pheasant. 

Ithagenes cruentus, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV., p. 103. 

Native names : — Chilime, Nepalese ; Semo, 
Bhutan ; See-mong, Lepcha. 

Only one species of this very well-marked genus 
is found with us. It is a small bird for a pheasant, 
being about a foot and a half long, with a broad 
rounded tail not so long as the closed wing, the 
whole bird being thus rather partridge-like in 
style. The plumage is very characteristic, being 
long, fxiU, and soft ; the crown has a short bushy 
•crest, and there is bare skin round the eye. Cock 
and hen are much alike in shape, but differ abso- 
lutely in colour, and the former has several spurs 
on each leg. 

In colour he is grey streaked with white above 
and on the flanks and lower belly ; the breast is 
apple-green splashed with crimson, and the throat 
and feathers under the tail .'are crimson. 

The hen is brown, finely pencilled with black, 
and with a grey cap and chestnut throat. 

The legs are coral-red, as also are the base of 
the bill and the bare eye-patch, which is brighter 
in the male, however. The bill is black. 

The cock will measure about eighteen inches, 
with a wing of eight and-a-half, tail nearly seven, 
shank nearly three, and biU under one inch. The 
hen is a little smaller. This is a thoroughly alpine 
bird, ranging between ten and fourteen thous- 
-and feet in the Himalayas, where alone it is found. 
It occurs in Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan, but its 


exact eastern and western limits are unknown, 
except that it does not extend to Kumaon. In 
Sikkim, at all events, it inhabits pine forests, 
feeding on the shoots of the conifers and on various 
other leaves, seeds, and fruits. The flavour con- 
sequently varies, and sometimes it is so strong 
and unpleasant that the bird is hardly fit to eat 
at all. 

In such cases the objectionable taste could prob- 
ably be in great measure removed by " draw- 
ing " the birds as soon as killed, as no doubt the 
food they contain taints the meat. 

The young have been seen in May, but beyond 
this nothing is known of the breeding of the spe- 
cies. Birds of the year have no spurs, and in 
older specimens they vary in number, being dif- 
ferent on each leg ; four on one and five on the 
other seems to be the maximum. With such 
saw-like shanks the Blood-Pheasant cock ought 
to be able to give a good account of himself in a 
fight ; but in the autumn, at all events, males and 
females are found associating together in flocks of 
more than a dozen. The Blood-Pheasant is not 
a shy bird, and much prefers running to flying ; its 
call note is a squeal like a kite's, while it has a 
shorter cry of alarm. It is suspected of burrowing, 
under the snow in winter like some grouse ; 
indeed, the short-tailed hill pheasants of the East 
recall grouse in more ways than one, and evidenth^ 
take the place of those birds in the economy of 

Only two other species of the present genus are 
known : — 


Geoffroy's Blood-Pheasant. 

Ithagenes geoffroyi, Brit. Mus. Cat. Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 269. 

The male of this species much resembles the Indian bird, but 
has the throat and breast grey, thus being duller in colour, while 
the hen is greyer above and has the tail indistinctly edged with 

This Blood-Pheasant is found in Eastern Tibet and Western 
Szechuen, and so comes near Indian limits. 

Chinese Blood-Pheasant. 

Ithagenes sinensis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 

p. 270. 
Native namk. — Sermean, Kan-su. 

The male can be distinguished from the Indian bird by the 
blackish-brown sides of the crest, blackish-grey front of the neck, 
and by having a rusty-brown patch on the wing where there is 
a green one in the other two species. The hen is 
most like that of the Indian bird, but has a grey instead of brown 
throat. This species inhabits high mountains in China. 


The Long-tailed Pheasants. 

Of the various long-tailed t3^es of pheasants, 
the true Argus is certainly the most remarkable, 
the genus being quite unique among birds in 
general. The most important characters, in addi- 
tion to the bare head and long secondary quills 
mentioned in the previous chapter, are the rather 
long legs and the tail, which is folded like that of 
a common fowl and composed of only 12 feathers. 
It is only moderately long in the hen, barely ex- 
ceeding the wing ; but in the cock the middle tail 
feathers are of enormous length, up to over four 
feet. In this sex also the secondary quills, which 
are very broad as well as long, exceed the prima- 
ries by considerably more than a foot ; even in the 
hen the primaries are some inches shorter than 
the secondaries. 

The Argus. 

Argusianus argus, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 71. 

Native names : — Quou, Burong quou, 
Kwang, Malay ; Kyekwah, Siamese at 

The plumage of this bird would be \-ery diffi- 
cult to describe in full, but it is not hard briefly to 
characterise. In both sexes it is mostly of a dark 


■brown, closdy mottled with buff, the breast being 
of a plain bay ; the bare head is blue, and the legs 
red ; the cock has no spurs. 

As above noted, he differs from the hen in his 
enormous secondary quills and central tail feathers, 
the latter being curiously twisted at the end. The 
male Argus's wing-quUls, also, both primary and 
secondary, bear the elaborate decoration which 
makes him one of the most wonderful birds in 
the world, but none of this is visible in the ordinary 
attitude of repose. The primary quills have a 
■dark blue shaft, and a band of chestnut, finely 
dotted with white alongside it on the inner web of 
the feather ; the secondaries have along the shafts 
of their outer webs a row of most beautiful eye 
spots, or "ocelli," shaded with ochre, drab, and 
■white, so beautifully as to resemble balls lying 
in sockets, the ' ' lights ' ' being most artistically 
rendered. As Darwin has shown, on the plumage 
of this bird a complete gradation can be traced 
ivotn these wonderful markings to ordinary spots. 
Another peculiarity of the male, concealed in 
repose, is that the lower part of the back is buff 
"with black spots. 

The male is altogether larger than the female, 
and his extravagant developments of plumage 
make him seem even bigger than he is. He is 
about six feet long, with a tail of over four feet ; 
"the wing to the end of the great secondaries is 
nearly a yard long, but the primaries are only 
about a foot and a half ; the shank is four, and a 
half inches long, and the bill rather more than 
one and a half. In the hen the length is about 
two and a half feet ; the wing a foot, and the tail 
an inch more ; the shank is about an inch shorter 


than the male's. Her general appearance some- 
what suggests both a fowl and a turkey. 

In our empire this bird is only found in the 
extreme south of Tenasserim, but it inhabits the 
Malay Peninsula general! \^ as well as Sumatra and 
the Laos mountains in Siam. It is a true jungle 
bird, confined to evergreen forest, and hardly ever 
seen, as it is very wary and a great skulker. There 
appears to be no regular breeding season, nor do 
the birds associate in pairs or families. The hens 
wander about casually, and the males remain 
near clearings, which each makes for himself, 
picking all the weeds, leaves, etc., off an area a 
few yards square. In this he generally lives, 
roosting at night on a tree dose by, and going out 
to feed on fallen fruit and insects. 

Here, too, he is too frequently captured by 
various poaching devices in the way of snares and 
deadfalls, for there is a considerable demand for 
his beautiful plumage. A good many birds also 
seem to be taken alive : they are very quiet and 
easy to tame. 

It is in his arena, presumably, that the cock 
displays himself to the hen, for he has a most 
remarkable and elaborate display, which requires 
a good deal of space. This has frequently been 
witnessed in captivity; ajid I have seen it more 
than once myself. The cock, when at full show, 
spreads his wings to their fullest extent, at the 
same time bringing them down in front till thej' 
meet before his head, while behind they are ele- 
vated so as almost to meet in front of the raised 
spread tail, the whole effect being of a great, paint- 
ed, almost vertical screen or fan, hiding the head 
and body completely. The bird, however, which 


is careful to have the hen in front of him, in some 
cases every now and then pushes his head between 
two of his quills to see what effect he is producing.. 

The said effect, in the cases I have observed,, 
was absolutely nil ; but very likely a captive hen, 
confined always with the male, is bored and indif- 
ferent. I did not see the peeping manoeuvre on 
his part, but traces of its frequent performance 
may be found in the worn quills in skins. 

The Argus does not seem to fight at all, and has 
been observed to give up his cherished parlour to 
an aggressive Fire-back pheasant without a 
struggle ; but our old bird at the Calcutta Zoo- 
logical Garden would fly at a hand presented to 
him, striking with bill and feet. In a wild state 
the males answer each other's calls. The note is 
a very curious one for a bird, a sort of double 
whoop, somewhat recalling the note of the Hoolock 
Apes, though not so rapidly repeated as theirs. 
The hen has a note of several syllables, more 
quickly uttered, but of somewhat the same type.. 

She seems to lay at any time, the eggs being 
seven or eight in number and reddish bufi in tint. 
Although the nest is, as usual, on the ground, the 
young fledge sufficiently to fly and take to a perch 
in a very few days. 

The Argus, as it can hardly ever be seen wild,. 
to say nothing of being shot, is rather out of court 
as a game-bird ; but it has considerable value 
as a menagerie specimen, live birds fetching 
about thirty rupees each in Calcutta. It seems 
to me, therefore, that snaring in such a way as 
to cause its death should be prohibited, and its 
capture in any way regulated, as, if preserved, the 


Tiigh price it fetches would vender it a profitable 
as well as harmless inmate of our jungles. 

Gray's Argus- 

Argusianits grayi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 

P- 365- 

Only one other species of true Argus is certainly Imown, from 

Borneo, which is rather smaller than our bird, but does not differ 

much from it otherwise, being merely redder on the breast, 

"with paler mottling above. 

Double-spotted Argus. 

Argusianus bipunctaius, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, 
Vol. XXII, p. 366. 

There is in existence, however, a, piece of a primary quill 
■feather, now in the British Museum, on the evidence of which a 
presumed third species has been named. In this specimen the 
-white-dotted cinnamon patch is found on both sides of the shaft, 
which is slighter than that of a corresponding quill from the 
common Argus. It is not known what the other feathers of 
this specimen were like or where it came from, and it might 
have been merely a " sport ; " if so, it was certainly a progres- 
-sive one, tending to greater ornamentation than the ordinary 
species possesses. 

The Crested Argus. 

Rheinardtius ocellatus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Vol. XXII, 
P- 367. 

This Argus is of a different type of form from tlie typical Argus 
above described, having wings of ordinary size in both sexes, 
which are also provided with a large erect tuft-crest on tlie back 
of the head. The male has all the tail-feathers very long, broad 
and pointed. 

The colouration is very complicated, being of a brown, diversi- 
fied with numerous fine chestnut and white markings in the m^lle, 
and black and buff pencilling in the hen, but tlie characteristic 
shape is quite distinctive. The male's tail is five feet long ; 
that of the hen is about fourteen inches. The species is found 
in the Tonquin mountains ; a race with darker upper parts, and 


lighter markings, in the males, occurring at Pahang in the 
Malay Peninsula, it has never, so far as I know been brought 
to Europe alive. 

We have next to consider the Peacock-Pheasants, 
or Polyplectrons, which are rather small birds as 
pheasants go, with long legs, short rounded wings,, 
and long flattish tails, composed of as many as 
twenty broad rounded feathers. The upper tail 
coverts are also very long and broad. The gen- 
eral build is light, and the birds are very active 
There is a bare skin round the eye in both sexes ; 
but the female is smaller and less bright than the 
male, and is not spurred, whereas the male has 
more than one spur on each leg, whence the scien- 
tific name, which means "many-spurred." 

Only one species is certainly known as occurring 
in our empire. 

The Grey Peacock-Pheasant. 

Polyplectrwn chinquis, Faun. Brit. Ind.,. 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 73. 

Native names : — Paisa-walla majur, Cachar 
Tea-Garden coolies ; Munnowur, Deyoda- 
huk, Assamese ; Deodurug, Deodirrik, Garo 
Hills ; Kat-mor, Chittagong ; Doun-kalah, 
Arrakan and Pegu ; Shwedong, Tenasserim. 

The male of this species has a rather short,, 
hairy-looking crest, always standing on end ; his 
tail is several inches longer than the closed wing. 
The general plumage is a grizzle, produced by- 
numberless tiny cream-coloured spots on a drab 
ground, but the throat is pure white, and the back, 
wings, and tail studded with eye-spots of green 
shot with purple, and bordered with cream colour.. 


"Studded" exactly expresses the effect, for so 
beautifully shaded are these spots that they seem 
to stand out from the feather like convex bosses 
of metal. They are round, small and single on 
the back and wings ; large, oval and double on 
the tail and its upper coverts ; in all cases being 
near the tip of the feather. His bill and legs are dull 
black, eyes white, and face pale sickly yellow. 

The hen is considerably smaller than the cock, 
and has the tail much shorter even in proportion, 
this being less than two inches longer than the 
wing in her. In general style of plumage she 
resembles the male, but has a shorter crest, is duller 
and darker in colour, and has, instead of eye- 
.spots, iU-defined black patches, with only a faint 
gloss of green. On the longest tail-feathers and 
their coverts, even these poor apologies for eye- 
spots are absent. Her bill, legs, and face are less 
decided in colour, and her eyes grey. The male 
is just over two feet long, with a fourteen-inch tail 
and wing of over nine inches ; his shanks are three 
inches long, provided with from one to three spurs 
■each ; his bill about an inch and a half from corner 
of mouth to tip. 

The hen is only nineteen inches in length, with 
a nine-inch tail, and wing of less than eight inches ; 
the shank is only about a quarter of an inch shorter 
than her mate's. 

The Peacock-Pheasant ranges from Sikkim 
through Assam and Burma to Siam, always keeping 
on or near hills, though not a bird of high elevations, 
as it seems not to range above six thousand feet. 
It frequents thick jungle on hill sides and ravines, 
and is very wary and hard to approach. The male 


has a most unpleasant call, a kind of harsh barking 
cackle, and will often reply to a gunshot with it. 
In showing off to the female he manages to display 
all his beauties at once, by raising one wing and 
lowering the other, at the same time spreading and 
slanting his tail, so as to exhibit all his spots on 
the side turned towards her. He also displays 
frontally crouching down with spread erected tail 
and wings set out on each side. In captivity he is 
true to one mate, and she displays an interesting 
method of protecting her chicks, keeping her broad 
tail spread horizontally as a sort of natural um- 
brella to hide and shelter them as they follow her. 
They, in their turn, have the instinct to follow 
closely so strongly developed that when specimens 
were hatched under a Bantam fowl at the London 
Zoological Gardens, they persisted in running close 
behind her. In this way they got more kicks than 
cover, and it was not tiU the Peacock-Pheasant 
herself hatched chicks that the habit was under- 

The eggs of the Peacock-Pheasant are buff- 
coloured and about two inches long ; tame birds 
only lay two. The wild ones nest about 

Malayan Peacock-Pheasant. 

Polyplectrum bicalcaratum, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 357- 

The male of this is speckled with black instead of cream- 
colour, and has a longer crest, glossed with purple and green. 
The hen is also easily distinguishable by the dark instead of light 
speckling. This species inhabits the Malay Peninsula. 


Germain's Peacock-Pheasant. 

Polyplecirum germaini, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 357. 

This has no crest at all ; its plumage is light-speckled, but 
darker in tone than in our grey bird, and the eye-spots on the 
tail feathers are longer. In the hen the eye-spots are better 
developed than in that of our species, and are found on the 
longer tail-coverts. Germain's Peacock-Pheasant is found in 
Cochin-China ; a smaller race of species (P. katsumatis) with the 
eye-spots greener and less purple and the mottling finer, inhabits 
Hainan. The males, at all events, of this and the last Peacock- 
Pheasant have the bare skin of the face red, so that a red-faced 
Peacock-Pheasant in British territory is a bird to keep one's 
eye upon. 

Bornean Peacock-Pheasant. 

Polyplectrum schleiermacheri, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, 
Vol. XXII, p. 259. 

This Bornean representative of the Malayan Peacock-Pheasant 
chiefly differs from it by having the under parts mostly black in 
the male, but white down the centre, the chest being spangled 
with purplish-green ; the hen, like the hen of the Malayan species, 
has eye-spots on the end of the tail-feathers, but not on 
the longer tail-coverts as that species' female has ; and she is 
washed with black below. 

Napoleon's Peacock-Pheasant. 

Polyplectron napoleonis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, VoU 
XXII, p. 361. 

This, the smallest and most beautiful of the Peacock-Pheasants, 
inhabits the island of Palawan in the Philippines. The cock, 
which is only about as big as the hen of the common Indian Pea- 
cock-Pheasant, has a long-pointed crest ; the general colour of 
the plumage is black, glossed with blue and green above ; the 
lower back and tail are buS, speckled with black, and the tsul 
is marked with blue-and-green eye-spots. The hen which is 
smaller, is also crested, and has the crown black ; the plumage 
generally is brown, mottled with black, and there are green eye- 
spots on the tail. 



Chalciirus chalcurns, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 361. 

This peculiar Sumatran Pheasant is closely allied to the Pea- 
cock-Pheasants, but has the sides of the face feathered, and the 
tail as long and narrow as in the typical Pheasants ; there are no 
eye-spots, and the general plumage of both sisxes i-s pencilled 
with light and dark brown ; the tail is of a glossy purplish blue 
at the tip and sides. 

Intermediate Peacock-Pheasant. 

Chalcurus inopinatus, Rothschild, Bull. Brit. Ornith. 
Club, Vol. XIII, p. 41. 

The close relationship of the last species with the Peacock- 
Pheasants is proved by the recent discovery of this intermediate 
form from Ulu Pahang in the Malayan Peninsula ; it has long 
patches instead of eye-spots on the tail, which is shaped as in 
C. chalcurus, but has eye-spots on the upper parts; the hen also- 
bears faint editions of these. 

Lady Amherst's Pheasant. 

Chrysolophus amherstioe, Brit. Mus. Cat., 
Birds, Vol. XXIT, p. 342. 

Native name : — Seng-ky, Chinese. 

The male of this species is a remarkable-looking 
bird, not to be mistaken for anything else, though 
the hen is not at all striking. The cock has a long 
narrow crest from the back of the head, a cape or 
ruff (which can be spread out like a fan) covering 
the back of the neck, and an immensely long tail, 
with the centre feathers particularly long and broad. 
and arched transversely, so as to roof over the 
rest. The upper tail-coverts are also very 
long, and lie along the sides of the tail like the 
' ' side hangers " of a cock. The bare face, of a 



livid blue or green, is almost the only point which 
this very over-dressed bird shares with the hen 
of his species. 

If his attire were less exuberant, Lady Amherst's 
■godchild would still attract attention by his start- 
ling colouring. His crown, throat, breast, upper 
back, and wings, are rich metallic dark green, with 
black edgings to the feathers ; the under-parts below 
the (breast are pure white. The ruff is white, with 
black edgings to each feather, and the enormous 
centre tail-feathers are also white, with black bars 
and pencillings ; the side tail-feathers are brown and 
differently marked. The whole is set off by the 
-blood-red crest, scarlet tips to the long upper tail- 
coverts, and by the lower back being yellow, bor- 
dered with scarlet where it nears the tail. 

The eyes are white, and the legs bluish like the 
face. The length of this bird is over four feet, 
but a yard of this is tail ; the wing barely exceeds 
eight inches, and the shank three ; it is a smaller 
and lighter-made bird than the home pheasant. 

The hen is brown, boldly barred with black, 
especially upon the upper surface of the body. 
She has a bare bluish or greenish space round the 
eye, and grey legs, like the cock, but her eyes are 
dark. Her zebra-like markings will easily distin- 
guish her from the hen of Stone's pheasant, the 
only one for which she could be mistaken. Besides, 
her tail is much longer in proportion than that 
bird's, being more than a foot long, although she 
is a smaller bird. 

This remarkable bird is one of the latest addi- 
tions to the fauna of our Empire, having onty been 
introduced to our notice in 1859 by Mr. Gates 


who had . an opportunity of inspecting a male spe- 
cimen which had been obtained by one of the 
officers attached to. the Boundary Delimitation 
Commission, on the Burmo-Chinese frontier. 

The proper habitat of the species is the moun- 
tains of Western China and Eastern Tibet. It 
was introduced into Europe alive a good many 
years ago, and is probably now better known as 
an aviary bird than in the wild state. 

Golden Pheasant. 

Chrysolnphus pictus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 

P- 339- 
Native n.mvie : — Kin-ky, Chiinese. 

Tlie cock of this species, which has long been a well-known 
fancy bird both in India and Europe, is chiefly golden above 
and scarlet below ; he is rufled and crested like the Amherst, 
the crest being fuller than in that bird ; but his tail is not so large. 
The hen is extremely like the .\mherst hen above described, 
but has dull yellow legs and no bluish bare skin round the eye. 
Moreover, the general tone of her plumage is yellower, and there 
is a wash of gold on the top of her head. The gold pheasant 
inhabits the mountains of South and West China, but is kept in 
domestication in manv countries. 

The Cheer Pheasant. 

Catreus wallichi. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 

Vol. IV, p. 82. 
Native names : — Chihir, Chir, Nepal, Ku- 

maun, Garhwal, &c. ; Bunchil, Herril, N. 

of Mussoorie ; Chaman, Kulu and Chamba. 

The Cheer bears a close general resemblance to 
the typical pheasants of the genus Phasianus, having 
the same style of tail and no ruff ; but the head 
is furnished with a long narrow -pdinted crest in 


both sexes, which also have in common a bare red 
skin round the eye. This style of head is charac- 
teristic of some Kaleeges, as will be seen in the 
next chapter ; and its combination with the long 
narrow true pheasant tail makes the Cheer quite 
unique and easily recognisable. The male Cheer 
is larger than the female, and is spurred ; but the 
latter has nearly as long a tail in proportion, and 
is not much duller in colour, though different in 
pattern : the cock Cheer being an unusually dull 
bird for a pheasant. 

His general colour is a buffy white, closely 
barred with black above and sparingly mottled 
with that colour below ; his head is drab, and the 
front and sides of his neck plain dirty white ; the 
lower part of his back is warm buff barred with 
steely black, and his tail is really handsome, being 
rich buff, barred with broad bands of mixed chest- 
nut and black. The middle of the belly is black, 
and the flanks rusty yellow. 

The bill is pale grey-brown, and the feet drab. 

In length the cock measures about a yard, and 
although nearly two-thirds of this is tail, he is yet 
really a considerably bigger bird than the English 
pheasant ; having a ten-inch wing, the shank nearly 
three inches, and the bill about half that. 

The hen has the same dark cap a.nd white throat, 
the former rather obscured by light edges to the 
feathers ; but the neck and breast are black with 
pale edges, and the general body colour darker 
than in the cock, and rather mottled than barred, 
with longitudinal streaks of buff ; the tail is also 
irregularly mottled and barred with brown, black, 


and buff ; the lower part of the breast is plain 
chestnut edged with buff. 

The hen is about two feet long or more, with 
a tail of over fourteen inches, and a wing of nine. 

This is a well-known bird all through our hills, 
though somewhat local. With us it occurs from 
Chamba to Khatmandu, and it is not known 
outside these limits. It is a bird of moderate ele- 
vations, ranging between four and ten thousand 
feet according to seasons ; it is particularly partial 
to wooded precipices, and very constant to local- 
ities which suit it. It is a sociable bird, flocks of 
from five to fifteen being commonly found, except 
in the breeding-season, and both sexes crow. 
The note is varied, but generally includes repeti- 
tions of the bird's name. 

This pheasant is especially a root-eater, and it 
also feeds on berries, seeds, and insects, but not 
on leaves and grass. It breeds from April to June, 
laying up to fourteen eggs of a pale stone colour, 
usually speckled with brown at the end, and just 
. over two inches long. The male Cheer has not 
been seen to show himself off to the female ; but 
as one we had at the Calcutta Zoo used to assume 
a slanting posture, with his fine tail spread, when 
anxious to fight a visitor, I conclude that he was 
simply following the display habit of his species. 

There now remain typical pheasants, belonging 
to the same genus as that which includes 
the well-known bird at home. In this group 
(Phasianus) both sexes are very similar in form, 
though they differ absolutely in colour ; but the 
males are larger than the females, have short sharp 
spurs, and much longer tails. The tail in both 


sexes has the middle feathers much the longest, 
the others rapidly diminishing to the outer pair ; 
and the long central feathers are transversely 
arched, so that they form a roof over the flat 
feathers below, the whole tail thus looking very 
narrow and pointed. The cocks have a red bare 
skin round the eye, and there is sometimes some 
of this in the hen. They show off in the sideway 
slanting posture. The pheasants of this group are 
active birds, strong on the wing and ready to rise ; 
they will live anywhere where there is moderate 
cover, but avoid heavy forest. They are charac- 
teristic of temperate regions as a rule, and are 
the best game birds of the whole family. 

Mrs. Hume's Pheasant. 

Phasianus humice. Fauna Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 80. 

Native name : — Loe-nin-koi, Manipur. 

The general colour of the male in this species 
is a rich bay with a golden gloss ; the head and 
neck are steel-blue, and the rump steel-blue with 
white edgings to each feather, giving a beautiful 
scaled appearance ; there are two white bars across 
the wing, with a broad patch of steel-blue between 
them ; the tail is grej^ crossed by bars of mixed 
black and chestnut. The bill is greenish, eyes 
orange, and legs brown. 

The hen is mottled with drab, sand}-, and black, 
and has the outer pairs of tail-feathers chestnut 
with white tips, and imperfectly barred with black. 

The male is about thirty-three inches long, 
about twenty inches being taken up by the tail ; 


the closed wing measures about eight and-a-half 
inches, and the shank nearly three. The hen has 
a very much shorter tail, this being only seven 
inches long ; but her wing is only about half an 
inch less than the cock's. 

Mr. Hume discovered this bird in Manipur in 
1881. He only got two specimens, both males, and 
very few have since been procured. The species has, 
however, been found to also inhabit the Ruby Mines 
District in Upper Burma, as also the Shan States. 

Burmese male birds commonly have the whit? 
edging of the rump-feather so much broader than 
in the typical birds, that the whole of that part of 
the back looks silver-white rather than scaled as 
in the ordinary form, but I do not consider them 
distinct, although Mr. Gates has named the Bur- 
mese bird — just distinguished as a variety by me — 
as a distinct species, burmannfcus. 

Elliot's Pheasant. 

Phasianus ellioti, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 335- 

The male of this species, from the South-Eastern Chinese moun- 
tains, is readily distinguished from Hume's Pheasant by the white 
abdomen and white sides of the neck ; the hen, in addition 
to the white abdomen, difiers from the Hume's Pheasant hen by 
having a black throat. The eggs are pale buff. Unlike most 
pheasants, it is a wandering bird, and does not haunt one local- 
ity ; it is well known in captivity in Evirope. 

Copper Pheasant. 

Phasianus sommerringi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 

XXII, p. 336. 
Native name : — Kee-es, Japanese. 

The Copper Pheasant does not inhabit the whole of Japan, 
but only Hondo and Kiu-siu ; the cock is chestnut in colour, mth 


the edges of the back and breast feathers richly glossed with 
red-gold ; the tail which is a yard long, is in two shades of chest- 
nut, barred with black. The hen is mottled with black and chest- 
nut, with the tail, which is barely eight inches long, chestnut 
with black white tips. A variety of the cock, which has the 
golden edgings of the feathers replaced by black and white, has 
sometimes been distinguished as the 'Sparkling Pheasant, P. 
scintillans. The eggs are greenish-white ; the Japanese name 
expresses the peculiar call. This species in both varieties is 
well known in Europe ; but a third recently-described race or 
species, Ijima's Pheasant (P. ijimcs), from Kiu-siu, in which the 
whole rump of the cock is white, has not been imported, as far as 
I know. 

Mikado Pheasant. 

Calophasis mikado, Grant, Bull., Brit. Ornith. Club, 
Vol. XVI, p. 277. 

Has only been recently made known ; the cock is one of the 
most distinct of all pheasants in appearance, and especially in 
this long-tailed group ; he is blue-black, with white markings 
on the wing, and white cross-bars on the tail. The hen is mot- 
tled brown, with small white dashes on the upper back and 
breast. The species inhabits Formosa. 

Reeves' Pheasant. 

Phasianus reevesi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 337- 

This very beautiful species, familiar in captivity in Europe, 
and even sometimes kept at large there, is far bigger than any 
other long-tailed pheasant, the hen even being as large as the 
cocks of the ordinary pheasants. The cock has an exce-ssively 
long tail — five or six feet ; this is chiefly silver-grey, boldlv 
barred with black ; the head and neck are black and white, with 
very little red skin round the eye ; the upper parts yellow, with 
black edges to the feathers. The hen is very minutely and beau- 
tifully variegated with black, bufl and grey like a Nightjar ; 
her head is buff, with dark-brown crown and eye-stripes, and 
there are white dashes on the upper back and breast ; the mid- 
dle tail-feathers, which are not longer proportionately than in 
common pheasants, are mottled grey, the outside ones 
mostly chestnut, tipped with white. This bird is wild and flies 
for long distances ; the cock's note is like the warble of a small 
bird. It inhabits the mountains of North and West China. 


Stone's Pheasant. 

Phasianus elegans. Fauna Brit. Ind., Vol. 
IV, p. 81. 

The male of this species has a great general 
resemblance to the common English pheasant, having 
the same green and purple head and neck, and chest- 
nut upper back and flanks, the latter spangled 
with purple black ; the tail also is similar, light 
brown with black bars. But the small wing-coverts, 
which are sandy in the English pheasant, are 
French-grey in the preseiit bird, which also has 
the rump or lower back gray and green instead 
of maroon. Moreover, the glossy green-black of 
the lower breast extends in this species right up 
to the green neck, whereas in the home pheasant 
the upper breast is bay with purple edgings to 
the feathers. 

The legs are lead-coloured, and the bare skin 
of the face scarlet. The hen is mottled with black 
and pale drab, much like the hen of the well-known 
pheasant at home. The absence of chestnut on 
the outer tail-feathers will distinguish her from 
the hen of Hume's Pheasant. 

The cock is about twenty-seven inches long, 
with a nine-inch wing and sixteen-inch tail ; the 
shank is about two and-a-half inches, and the 
bill one and-a-quarter. The hen is decidedly 
smaller, with a much shorter tail in proportion, 
this measuring only nine inches — an inch longer 
than her closed wing. 

This pheasant was first known from the prov- 
ince of Szechuen in Southern China, but was 
almost simultaneously found by Dr. J. Anderson 


the first Superintendent of the Indian Museum 
at IMomien in the Yunnan province, where it was 
conamon on grassy hills at an elevation of five 
thousand feet. Recently it has turned up in 
Burma, at about the same elevation, in the Nor- 
thern Shan States, where one was shot by Lieu- 
tenant H. R. Wallis. 

There is considerable difference of opinion as 
to exactly how many species or races of the 
pheasants of this type are to be recognised ; but 
the following are easily distinguishable and well 
known : — 

Common Pheasant. 

Phasianus cokhiciis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds. Vol. XXII, 
p. 322. 

This species ranges from Greece to tlirougli Asia JMinor and 
Transcaucasia, and is still common in the vicinitj' of the ancient 
Phasis (the modern River Rion, in Mingrelia), whence, classical 
tradition says, it was imported into Europe. The pure bird, in 
addition to the absence of white neck-ring and to having sandy 
wings, is distinguished by having the rump dark maroon red, 
with no green or grey tinge ; the eggs are olive in colour. 

Ring-Necked Pheasant. 

Phasianus torquattis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 331- 

This is the characteristic Pheasant of China, ranging from 
the Lower Amoor to Canton ; it has been known in Britain for 
more than a century. The pure Chinese bird has white eve- 
brows and collar, grey wings and rump, and the flanks distinctly 
paler than the breast, being buff ; the Forniosau race (P. 
fonnosaiius) has their primrose-colour. The hen is drab, mottled 
with black, like that of the Common Pheasant. 


Green Japanese Pheasant. 

Phasianus versicolor, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 324. 

This is far the most distinct in colour of all the races ; it is 
confined to Japan, and even there does not occur in Yezo. The 
breast and flanks are all dark glossy green, the wings and rump 
grey ; there is no neck-ring. The hen is more darkly mottled 
with black than in other hen pheasants of this type, especially 
on the breast. This is well known in Europe, and often crossed 
with the two previous races. Stone's pheasant much resembles 
the hybrid thus produced. 

Mongolian Pheasant. 

Phasianus mongolicus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, 
Vol. XXII, p. 328. 

This species, ranging from the Syr-Darya east to lake Zaisan 
and south to the Issik-kul valley, is very distinct from the three 
last in two structural points — the absence of the ear-tufts and 
the fact that the naked red face-skin only dilates below the eye 
and not above also. In colour it is dark'Ccippefy red; with the 
darker markings on breast and flanks indistinct ; there is a 
broad white collar, interrupted in front by the copper-red of the 
breast, which runs up the neck, this not being green or purple 
all round as in other pheasants of this type ; the white wings and 
straw-coloured eyes are also striking points. The light eyes 
also characterise the hen which is also paler than the hens of 
the common and Ring-necked species. The Dzungarian race {P. 
semitorquatus) is similar, but has a green instead of purple gloss 
on the plumage, and the collar more widely broken. The 
Mongolian is a large race, and greatly favoured at present in 
Britain for crossing purposes. 

Royal or Murghab Pheasant. 

Phasianus principalis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, 
Vol. XXII, p. 325. ,U..-: • V .,.:, 

This species is of particular interest to Indian sportsmen, as 
it is found in North- West Afghanistan, ranging into the adjacent 
parts of Persia. It is, like the Common Pheasant, rather uniform 
in tint and devoid of a white collar, but is light in hue, being 
chestnut rather than bay, and has the wing-coverts white. The 
lien is lighter than that of the Common Pheasant. In the bed 


of the Bala Murghab river, where it was discovered, it leads 
a semi-aquatic life, running and swimming in watery thickets 
Uke a Rail. It has of late been introduced into Britain. I use 
the name " Koyal " as it was named after the late King Iidward 
VII when Prince of Wales. 

Besides these, there are two very distinct races which have not 
been introduced to Europe so far as I know : — 

Oxus Pheasant. 

Phasianus chrysomdas, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, 
Vol. XXII, p. 327. 

This race, from the Amu-Darya valley, has the spangling of the 
flanks very large and bold, and dark green : the green edgings 
of the breast feathers coalesce and fuse with the green of the 
neck ; there is no white neck-ring, but the wings are white ; the 
rump is reddish. The hen is pale, like that of the Mongolian. 

Vlangal's Pheasant. 

Phasianus ulangali, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 33°- 

Vlangal's Pheasant inhabits the Tsaidam marshes, but so 
remarkably pale in colour, suggesting a desert form ; the shoulders 
are sandy, without the usual markings, and the ground-colour 
of the flanks buff ; the wings and rump grey as in the Ring-neck, 
but there is no neck-ring, the hen is very pale, the dark mottlings 
of the plumage being fawn, instead of black as in other hens of 
this type. 

Then there are several less distinct forms closely related to 
the above. 

Shaw's Pheasant. 

Phasianus shawi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 326. 

This is the Yarkand race, and comes very near to the Mur- 
ghab Pheasant, but has, among other small diflerences, a tinge 
of grey on the wings and green on the rump. 


Persian Pheasant. 

Phasianus persicus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 324- 

The Persian race comes nearest the Common Pheasant, but 
is rather lighter and has the wing-coverts nearly white, thus 
approaching the Murghab race ; the hen, however, is as dark as 
that of the Common Pheasant. The Pheasants of the Zerafshan 
and Tarim valleys (P. zerafshanicus and P.- tarimensis) are sub- 
races of this form. 

Strauch's Pheasant. 

Phasianus sirauohi , 'Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol, XXII, 
P- 330- 

Strauch's Pheasant, from the mountains of Kan-su and 
Sze-chuen, is somewhat like the Common Pheasant, but has 
grey wing-coverts and the rump grey and green, thus approaching 
the Ring-neck ; the sub-race P. herezowskyi differs but little. 

Hagenbeck's Pheasant. 

Phasianus hagenbecki, Rothschild, Bull. Brit. Ornith, 
Club, Vote XII, p. 20. 

Is a paler and more distinctly marked race of the Ring-neck, 
from Mongolia ; it ranges the furthest north of these pheasants, 
as the typical Ring-neck goes furthest south; the Satschuen 
Pheasant (P. satschuensis) is also a pale Ring-neck. 

Collarless Pheasant. 

Phasianus decollatus, Brit. Jlus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXlf , 
P- 331- 

This bird, from East Yunnan and West China, is much Uke 
the Chinese Ring-neck, but has the white collar absent or only 
just indicated, and the breast- feather with broader dark margins. 

Many more races have been described, M. Buturlin naming 
twice as many as are described here ; but in a book intended for 
sportsmen, as this is, it is unnecessary to go into details about 
them ; it will have been seen already that, as it is, except for half- 
a-dozen or so, these local forms are hard to make out, and even 
the best characterised races breed so freely together that their 
distinction as species is very doubtful. 


Koklass and Kaleeges. 

The Koklass, although they come under the 
heading of pheasants with medium tails, bear a 
stronger general resemblance to some of the long- 
tailed species I have been dealing with. Both 
sexes have the head entirely feathered, and the 
body-feathers pointed in shape. The taU is point- 
ed, both with regard to its individual feathers and 
its general shape, the centre feathers being the 
longest and the outside the shortest. The wings 
are longer and more pointed than in any other 
pheasants, the primary or pinion-quills showing 
noticeably beyond the secondaries when the wing 
is closed, unlike what is usually the case in this 

The cocks are altogether different in colour 
from the hens, and stand higher on the leg, which 
in them is spurred. They have, however, only 
one piece of special feather-ornamentation, though 
this is a sufficiently remarkable one ; for it con- 
sists in the male having three crests, one long one 
growing from the crown, and two still longer, 
which flank it on each side. I have never seen 
any description of the display of the males, but 
it ought to be interesting. The hens have a short 
ordinary crest. 


The Common Koklass or Pukras. 

Pucrasia macrolopha, Fauna Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 85. 

Native names : — Plas, Kashmir ; Kukrola, 
Chamba ; Koak, Kulu, Mandi ; Koklass, 
Kokla, Simla to Almora ; Pokras, Ku- 
maun, Garhwal and W. Nepal. 

The cock of this species has a dark green head, 
with the central crest fawn-colour, and a white 
spot at each side at the commencement of the neck. 
The front of the neck is chestnut, and this colour 
extends right down the breast and belly, becom- 
ing paler behind. The rest of the body plumage 
is streaked with black and grey, the former colour 
occupying the centre of the feathers, and the latter 
the edges. The centre tail-feathers are reddish 
brown, and the others black with narrow white 
tips, and running into chestnut towards the root. 

The Koklass, however, is a very variable spe- 
cies, especially with regard to the breadth of the 
chestnut colouring on the under-parts and the 
proportions of the black and grey in the body 
feathers. In the typical bird, as found in the 
N.-W. Himalayas, the black centre stripe is about 
as wide as the grey edging, but in Western Nepal 
specimens the black is much increased, and the 
chestnut shows a tendency to extend to the back 
and sides of the neck. But the two forms run into 
each other. Again, the ra:ce from Western Kashmir 
combines this extension of the chestnut neck colour 
with the narrow black stripes of the type. All 
these variations have been named as spiecies, the 
North- West Himalayan bird being the true Pucra- 


sia macrolopha, while the dark Nepal form is P. 
nepalensis, and the Kashmir bird P. biddulphi. 

The length of the cock is about two feet, with 
the wing just over nine inches and the tail about 
ten ; the shank measures about two and-a-half 
inches and the bill about one and-a-half. 

The hen is mottled with black and brown, with 
buff streaks above ; her eyebrows are buff, and 
her throat pure white ; below she is buff with black 
streaks, and the middle of the belly white ; the 
side tail-feathers are black, tipped with white 
and edged with chestnut outside. The hens are 
much the same eveiy where, except that in the 
Nepal variety there is often much more chestnut 
in the tail. 

The short, flat, pointed tail, feathered face, 
and long wings will easily distinguish the hen 
Koklass from other hen pheasants. 

She is about three inches shorter than the male, 
with an eight-mch tail, and wing only a little 
longer ; the shank is two and-a-quarter inches. 

The Koklass is confined to the Himalayas, from 
Jumla in Western Nepal to Kashmir ; its range is 
from about four thousand feet to the forest limits. 
It is pre-eminently a forest bird, and lies close till 
flushed, when it flies with great rapidity and is 
hard to shoot. Although living on a mixed diet 
like most pheasants, it has an especial preference 
for leaves and buds ; it is supposed to be our best 
pheasant for the table. 

It has apparently named itself, like so many 
Indian birds, the crow of the male being compared 
to the words '' kok-kok pokrass." He usually 


crows in the morning and evening, but will also 
answer a gunshot or a peal of thunder — ^a not un- 
common habit with pheasants. 

The breeding season is from April to June, and 
the birds are then found in pairs ; in autumn and 
winter they collect into coveys. 

The eggs are about nine in number, pale buff, 
often marked with reddish spots of varying size, 
and two inches long. No nest of any sort is made, 
the eggs being deposited in a " scrape ' ' on the 

The Chestnut Koklass. 

Pucrasia castanea, Blandford, Faun. Brit. 
Ind., Vol. IV, p. 86. 

I mention this species because it is believed to 
occur in our Empire ; but very little is known about 
it, only two specimens, now in the British Museum, 
having ever been obtained. These are said to 
have been obtained from Kafiristan, and the bird 
is also credited with inhabiting Yassin, Chitral, 
and Swat. 

It differs from the common Koklass in the much 
greater extension of the chestnut colour, which 
runs all round the neck, extends some way down 
the back and covers the flanks as well as the breast '• 
the middle of the belly being black. 

The hen appears to be still unknown, so that 
there is a good deal to be made out about the spe- 
cies yet. Of course, there is always the pos- 
sibility of its turning out to be a mere rufous variety 
of the common Koklass, just as the Nepal bird is 


a dark variety. The common grey partridge of 
Europe {Perdix cinerea), which has certainly not 
more chestnut in its plumage than the ordinary 
Koklass possesses, sometimes produces a variety 
— formerly named as a species, Perdix montmia — 
which may be of a rich chestnut colour almost 
all over. 

Meyer's Koklass. 

Pucrasiameyeri, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, p. 

The cock of this species is very like the Common Indian Kok- 
lass, but has a yeUow collar at die back of the neck ; the hen is 
distinguished by having the outer tail-feathers nearly all chest- 
nut. It extends from the Mekong river to Central Tibet. 

Yellow-necked Koklass- 

Pucrasia xanthospila, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 315 ; Song-ky, Chinese. 

This has a bufi or chestnut collar, but can be distinguished 
from both Meyer's Koklass and the common species by having 
the outer tail-feathers grey, barred with black ; this point wiU 
also distinguish the hen. It ranges from North-west China to 
Eastern Tibet, in the mountains. 

Darwin's Koklass. 

Pucrasia darwini, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 316 ; Song-ky, Chinese. 

In this species, the sides of the cock are buff in tlie ground- 
colour, with black longitudinal bands ; he has no buff colour. 
The hen is most like that of the last species, but has the bars 
on the tail-feathers only scantily represented by spots. It in- 
habits the Eastern Chinese mountains. 


Styan's Koklass. 

Pucrasia styani, Grant, Bull. Brit. Ornith. Club, XXIII, 

P- 32. 

Tliis species, from Ichang in Central China, has the under-parts 

streaked black and grey throughout, with no central belt of 

-chestnut like all the other species ; above it most resembles the 

last. The hen is not known. 

The Kaleeges form a large genus of pheasants 
which are very easily recognisable. In all, both 
sexes have a crest, and the sides of the face covered 
with bare red skin, which, in the cocks at all events, 
is extensible upwards and downwards. The tails 
in aU the species are folded like that of a common 
fowl, and in most of them are not much longer 
than an ordinary hen's tail ; but in the males the 
top feathers have a decided curve, and in some of 
the species the tail is quite long in that sex. The 
■cocks are well spurred, and are hard fighters ; they 
have a curious habit of buzzing with their wings 
as a challenge. 

As sporting birds, the Kaleeges are not to be 
commended. They won't rise- if they can possibly 
help it, and as they live in jungle, can make their 
arrangements for skulking in safety, and do so. 
They do not range so high as the other pheasants, 
and sometimes even inhabit the plains. 

To the naturalist some of the species are of the 
highest interest, as they exhibit so many grada- 
tions that it is doubtful how many kinds there 
really are. This, however, is not encouraging 
to the beginner who wishes to precisely identify 
whatever birds he may get. It is very probable 
that a good deal of interbreeding goes on, with the 
natural' result of the production of a set of mon- 


grels, since the crosses bred from these nearly 
allied birds are probably fertile. 

About the first three species there is, however, 
.no doubt ; the males of these all have tails much 
like an ordinary domestic hen's, as described above, 
and their plumage is always black, or rather steel- 
blue above, and gre3dsh white below, the white 
feathers of the under-surface being conspicuously 
pointed. Their legs are never red or pink. 

The hens of these species are all very much 
alike, hardly to be distinguished at all in fact. 
Their tails are almost completely fowl-like and 
their crests narrow and projecting ; their plumage 
is of a nut-brown, with light shafts and tips to 
the feathers ; the tail feathers, except the centre 
or uppermost pair, are black. The plumage has 
a much more uniform appearance than that of 
other hen pheasants, the light markings being so 
small that the birds appear plain brown by com- 
parison with these. 

The White-crested Kaleege. 

GenncBUS albicristatus, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 89. • . 

Native names : — Kalij, Kukera, Mirghi 
Kalij, Kalesur (male), Kalesi (female). 
Hind, in the N.-W. Himalayas ; Kolsa, 
in the N. Punjab and Chamba. 

The male of this species has a long, narrow 
drooping crest of white hairy-looking feathers ; 
his upper plumage is black, glossed with blue, and 
his tail black ; the rump is barred with white, the 


feathers being white-tipped, and most of the under- 
surface is dirty white, the throat and belly being 
brown. The hen is brown, as above described. 

The bill of this bird is greenish white, and the 
legs dirty white also. The cock measures from 
two to two and-a-half feet in length, of which the 
tail is about a foot. The wing is over nine inches, 
the shank three, and the bill about one and-a-half. 
The hen ranges from about two feet down to twenty 
inches, her tail and wing being each about eight 
inches long. 

This species inhabits a zone, from two to ten 
thousand feet in elevation, according to the season, 
from Kumaun to Hazara in the Himalayas ; it is 
said not to be found west of the Indus, and of 
Nepal it only penetrates the westernmost portion, 
if it is found in that country at all. Of all the hill 
pheasants this most affects the neighbourhood 
of man ; but it is nevertheless not easy to domes- 
ticate. It breeds from April to June, the hen 
laying about nine cream-coloured eggs in a rude 
grass nest on the ground. The eggs are about 
two inches long. 

The Nepal Kaleege. 

GenncBUs lencomelanus, Blanford, Faun. Brit. 
Ind., Birds, Vol. IV, p. 90. 

Native names : — Kalij, Hindi ; Rechabo, 

This species is blue-black above and white below, 
with a white-barred rump, like the last ; but it 
has a black crest. The hens are practically indis- 


tinguishable, and the dimensions differ very little^ 
though the present species is slightly the smaller. 
The legs are horny grey, darker than in the white- 
crested Kaleege ; the face of course red, as usual 
in this group. 

This is the only Kaleege found in most parts- 
of Nepal ; its nesting habits and eggs appear not 
to be recorded. 

The Black-backed Kaleege. 

Gennceus melanonotus. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 91. 

Native name : — 'Kar-rHyak, Lepcha. 

This species resembles the last in size and in 
having a black crest, but differs in having the upper 
surface entirely rich blue-black, with no white 
edgings on the rump ; the hen is like that of the- 
preceding species. 

The present bird inhabits the Sikkim Hima- 
layas, extending on the one side into Eastern 
Nepal and on the other into Bhutan, but its exact 
range is not yet known. It is, like the others, 
a bird of moderate elevations. It breeds from 
March to July, according to the elevation it inhab- 
its, and apparently differs from the white-crested 
Kaleege in making no nest at all and often laying 
fewer eggs. 

As wiU have been seen, the Nepal Kaleege is- 
intermediate in colour — as it is in geographical 
range — between this species and the white-crested, 
having the black crest of the present bird and the 
white-barred rump of the white-crested species. It 


has therefore been suspected of being a hybrid 
between these two by Blyth and Jerdon, but the 
researches of Dr. Scully have renloved the bar 
sinister from its escutcheon. 

The males of all the kaleeges now to be dealt with 
differ markedly from those previously described, in 
having the breast-feathers of the ordinary rounded 
shape, not narrow and pointed. Moreover, the 
breast is always mostly black, generally completely 
so. It is about the species of this section that so 
much uncertainty exists. 

The Black-breasted or Purple Kaleege. 

Gennaus horsfieldi, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 92. 

Native names : — Mathura, Chittagong and 
Sylhet ; D4rtig, Dirrik, Garo Hills ; Dorik, 
at Dibrugarh ; the last name seems com- 
monly used by Europeans. 

This is a bird of similar type to the light-breasted 
kaleeges hitherto dealt with, with a narrow pro- 
jecting crest, and rather short hen-like tail. The 
cock is altogether of a glossy purple-black, except 
for the white barring on the rump which he has 
in common with two of his allies above mentioned. 

The hen is just like the hens of the previous 
kaleeges — brown, with each feather tipped with 
a lighter shade, and with the tail-feathers black, 
except the top or central pair. 

The bill is horn-colour, face red, and legs drab 
or grey. 


The dimensions are also as in the previous spe- 
cies, the cock being about two feet long and the 
hen about twenty inches. This bird's range extends 
from the lower hills of East Bhootan and the 
Daphla country, north of the Assam valley, through- 
out the ranges to the southward to Chittagong, 
North Arrakan, South Manipur and Bhamo. Its 
eggs, which resemble those of the preceding kalee- 
ges, have been found in Sylhet towards the end of 
March. It has been tried as a game-bird in English 
preserves, but though it throve well, was killed 
off again as a nuisance, being very pugnacious to 
the true pheasants, hard to put up, and flying 
dangerously low for shooting when it could be 
made to rise. 

The Lineated Kaleege or Burmese Silver 

GenneBus lineatus. Faun. Brit. Ind.. Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 92. 

Native names : — Yit, Kayit, Burmese ; 
Rak, Arrakanese ; Synklouk, Talain ; 
Phugyk, Karen. 

This is a slightly larger bird than the last, but 
of the same t5^e as regards the narrow stifiish 
crest and rather short taU ; its colouration is, how- 
ever, of a quite different character. 

The male is blue-black only on the crest and on 
the under-parts ; the flanks are also black, with 
white streaks in the centres of the feathers, which 
streaking may extend over aU of the breast also. 
But the upper plumage, wings, and tail, are of a 


grizzly grey or pepper-and-salt colour, produced 
by fine zig-zag black and white pencillings, which 
get stronger and coarser on the quids of the wing 
and tail. The topmost or centre tail-feathers, how- 
ever, are pure white on their inner webs and tips, 
contrasting well with the rest of the plumage. 

The hen is brown, with the head, neck, upper 
back, and breast distinctly streaked with white, 
the white marks being V-shaped on the back of 
the neck and shoulders. Her centre tail-feathers 
have the inner webs and the tips buff, correspond- 
ing to the white of the same pair in the cock ; 
and the outer pairs are black, marked with brown, 
and pencilled with wavy white lines. She is thus 
easily distinguishable from the hens of the previous 

The face is red, as usual, in this species, and 
the bill greenish horn-colour ; the eyes, however, 
vary from red-brown to white, and the legs from 
drab to flesh-colour. 

This is the kaleege of Burma, and it extends to 
south-western Siam. It frequents hilly grounds, 
and keeps to cover, being an inveterate runner 
and skulker. It breeds in March and April, the nest 
being merely a hollow lined with a few dead leaves, 
and containing seven eggs of a pale buff colour. 

In order to understand the kaleeges of this 
group, it will be necessary to describe a species 
which is not Indian, but which with the exten- 
sion of our Empire or of its own ranges may come 
to be a British subject, and is at ail events better 
known generally than any other kaleege. 


This is the Silver Pheasant (Gennaus nycthemerus) of China 
(Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, p. 307) now rare in a wild state 
in that country, but very widely known as an aviary bird, as it 
thrives better than any other pheasant in captivity. In thi& 
bird, which is larger than any of our species, the male has a 
long full drooping crest, and a very long tail reaching two 
feet, and gracefully arched and tapered ; but the feathers com- 
posing the tail are flat and lie vertically and back to back as- 
in other kaleeges. The crest, under-parts, and flanks in the 
cock are blue-black, and the upper plumage, wings and tail 
pure white, with fine hair-like black pencilling, which becomes- 
strong and bold on the wings and side tail-feathers. The centre 
tail-feathers are plain, and at a little distance the whole upper 
plumage looks white. 

The hen has a very short black crest and a moderately long, 
closely-folded tail. She is of a plain uniform brown, with the 
side tail-feathers boldly pencilled with black and white. 

Both sexes have bright red legs, pale green bills, and red faces ,- 
the male's face having a beautiful velvety appearance. 

Crawfurd's or Anderson's Silver Pheasant. 

Gennceus andersoni, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 94. 

This species, which is rather doubtful and has 
been described under several names, is interme- 
diate between the two last. The tail of the male, 
although not so long as that of the Silver Pheasant 
of China, is nevertheless considerably longer than 
the wing, and curved ; the crest is full and droop- 
ing. This crest, with the under-parts and flanks, 
is black with a blue gloss, as usual ; the upper parts 
appear grey at a little distance, but close at hand 
are seen to be boldly and clearly marked with con- 
centric lines of black and white, equal in breadth 
and resembling a curved V or a Gothic arch in 
shape. The accuracy of the pattern is something 
remarkable, and has a very beautiful effect. Oa 


the quills of the wing and tail the marking becomes 
a rather irregular pencilling, and on the inner webs 
and tips of the middle tail-feathers the black pen- 
cilling dies away altogether. 

The hen is plain brown almost throughout,, 
including the side tail-feathers, but is marked on 
the breast with V-shaped white streaks. 

The cock is two and-a-half to three feet long, 
of which more than half is tail. The wing measures 
about ten inches. 

This is one of the doubtful species to which I 
alluded above, as are also those which follow. 
Only a few specimens have been obtained, and 
these appear to differ Considerably. The type of 
the species, however, obtained by the late Dr. 
Anderson in the Kachin Hills, closely agrees with 
birds from the Ruby Mines in Burma and v^ith. 
others obtained by French naturalists from Annam. 
I was able to observe the last in Paris some years 
ago, and there saw the hen. Dr. Anderson's bird, 
which was in my time still in the Indian Museum, had 
flesh-coloured legs, but the others I have seen had 
red ones like the Chinese Silver Pheasant. Several 
skins collected by Captain W. G. Nisbett in the- 
Kachin Hills, north of Bhamo and east of Myit- 
kyina, show the most remarkable gradations 
between this species and the Purple or Black- 
breasted Kaleege (GenncBus horsfieldi), and the two 
species evidentl}?^ interbreed there, the Purple 
Kaleege strain predominating on the lower ground 
and the .Silver Pheasant on the higher. One such 
hybrid, with the white pencilling on the upper 
surface less strong than in the true andersoni and. 
showing white rump-bars, has been called Genncsus- 


davisoni. Mr. Gates considers this form the true 
andersoni, and calls the Ruby Mines birds Gen- 
nceus rufipes. All I can say is, however, that what 
I have above described as G. andersoni corresponds 
with .the typical specimen in Calcutta and with 
the figures which have been published to accom- 
pany accounts of that species, so that there should 
be no doubt about it. 

Blanford, in the Fauna of British India, sug- 
gests that G. andersoni maj' after all only be a cross 
between the Lineated Kaleege and the Chinese Silver 
Pheasant ; and certainly there is a stuffed speci- 
men of this cross in the Paris Museum which no 
body could call anything. else but an Anderson's 
Silver Pheasant if they did not know its origin. 
On the other hand, the uniformity of the type, in 
several specimens might be used as an argument 
for its distinctness. Many hybrids, however, are 
known to be very uniform in t5^e, especially 
those between the Golden and Amherst Pheasants, 
and the goldfinch and bullfinch. Moreover, inter- 
mediate forms appear to occur between Ander- 
son's and the Lineated Pheasant, and also between 
the former and the true Chinese Silver Pheasant, 
so that on our eastern frontiers there seems to be 
a great deal of confusion among these birds which 
has not yet been cleared up. Experimental breed- 
ing in confinement ought to settle the matter, and 
with birds so easily kept and studied as are the 
kaleeges the problem might be solved in a few years. 

I have dwelt on this point at such length because 
the same remarks apply to the other doubtful 
forms I shall now describe, though none of these 
are so interesting as the Anderson's Silver Pheasant, 


which is really a very beautiful bird in its own way 
and quite unlike anything else, so that if it really 
is a hybrid, it is a very remarkable product. 

Cuvier's Kaleege. 

Gennceus cuvieri. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 93- 

In tihis bird, which exactly resembles the Purple 
Kaleege in shape, the plumage is also much like 
that of that bird, being mostly purple-black with 
white bars on the rump ; but the upper parts, 
wings, and tail are all regularly but finely pencilled 
with white lines. The marking, in fact, is that 
of the Chinese Silver Pheasant reversed. All the- 
tail-feathers are pencilled in this way, from the 
centre pair to the outside, whereas in most of 
these pencilled pheasants the marking differs on 
the different feathers of the tail. 

The hen is brown with lighter edges to the 
feathers, like that of the Purple Kaleege, but her 
outer tail-feathers, instead of being plain black as 
in the hen of that species, are pencilled with fine- 
white lines like the plumage of her own mate. 

This species, which resembles the Purple Kaleege 
in size, seems to be found in the most typical form 
in the Chin Hills ; at any rate, some specimens I 
have examined from there agree remarkably in 
their plumage^ The figure given by Temminck, 
who first described Genmeus cuvieri, also agrees 
closely with the Chin Hills birds ; but Temminck 
could give no locality for his specimen. 

At the same time, these Chin Hills kaleeges with 
fine white pencilling on black may be merely 


hybrids between the Purple and the Lineated 
Kaleege as Blanford thought. They certainly 
are just what one might expect from such a cross. 

Oates's Kaleege. 

GenncBUS oatesi, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, Vol. 
IV, p. 94. 

This is still more like the Purple Kaleege, not 
-only resembling it in shape and size, but being 
almost completely blue-black with white rump- 
bars. But there is on the upper plumage a scanty 
and broken pencilling, or rather peppering, of 
white, giving it a frosted appearance ; and the 
inner webs of the middle tail-feathers are nearly 
white, as in the Lineated Kaleege. 

The hen is like that of the Purple Kaleege, but 
has the black outer tail-feathers mottled with 
black and chestnut, and the inner webs of the 
centre tail-feathers pale buff or cream-colour. 

This seems to be the kaleege of the Arra- 
kan Hills, two of Blyth's old specimens in the 
Asiatic Society's collection deposited in the Indian 
Museum agreeing with the above description. 
The description which Blanford gives of G. cuvieri 
in the place above cited, also agrees better in some 
respects with this bird than with Temminck's. 
But he considers this form also a hybrid, as did 
Blyth, who identified it with Temminck's G. 
•cuvieri. And two other specimens of Blyth's 
from Arrakan are most obviously hybrids between 
the Purple and Lineated Kaleeges. 

Many other pencilled kaleeges have been des- 
cribed, but I have contented myself with noting 


the forms I have been able to make out personally ; 
as, except the Purple, Silver, and Lineated bu'ds, 
all the species with which we are here concerned 
are very doubtful. Sportsmen who are interested 
in the subject should preserve, however roughly, 
the skin of any pencilled kaleege they may shoot 
in out-of-the-way places, or at least take photo- 
.graphs of such, the black and white markings 
lending themselves admirably to photographic 
reproduction. The dimensions and locality should 
of course be noted. By the collection of such 
■evidence we may' at length find out how many 
species there really are, but I fancy experimental 
breeding would determine the point a good deal 

Whitehead's Silver Pheasant- 

Gennceus whiteheadi. Grant, Proc, Zool. Soc, 1900, 
P- 503. 

This bears a general resemblance to the Chinese Silver Pheasant 
above described, but has the upper surface with bold but scanty 
black pencilling, only one pair of thick curved lines on each 
feather, joining near the tip ; the black markings on the wings 
and outer tail-feathers are also stronger. The hen is much more 
different from that of the Silver Pheasant, having the neck 
and under-parts white with black edges to the feathers, and the 
tail all brown. The bird is coniined to Hainan. 

Swinhoe's Kaleege. 

Gennaus swinhoii, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 309- 

Confined to Formosa, this species is the most distinct of all. 
The cock is rich purple-black, with the short crest, centre tail- 
feathers, and upper back, pure white and the shoulders deep 
glossy red. The hen is variegated with brown and buff, with 
the outer tail-feathers bay. The face and legs are red. It is 
well known in captivity in Europe. 


The Fire-backed Pheasant. 

Lophura rufa, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, Vol. 
IV, p. 87. 

After such a terribly mixed up lot as the pen- 
cilled kaleeges, it is a relief to come across a bird 
which is very distinct from everything else, as is 
the present one. In its general appearance the 
Fireback resembles the shorter-tailed kaleeges,. 
but the male has a different style of crest, this 
being erect and brushlike, and composed of feathers 
which are bare-shafted at the base. There does 
not, indeed, seem much reason for separating the 
few species of Firebacks from the kaleege genus. 
In the male of our only species, the general colour 
of the plumage is metallic-purple ; the lower back 
is fiery copper-red, and the two centre pairs of tail- 
feathers and part of the next pair are white. 
There are also some white streaks on the sides of 
the body. 

The hen is chestnut-coloured with white edges 
to the feathers of the neck in front ; below this the 
feathers are black, still with white edges, and the 
pattern extends along the flanks ; the centre of 
the belly is plain white. 

The bare skin of the face is bright blue and the 
eyes red ; the biU all white in the male, but brown 
below in the female. The legs and feet are bright 

The cock is a large bird, measuring twenty- 
eight inches in length, of which less than a foot 
goes to the tail ; the wing is almost a foot long, 
and the shank nearly five inches. The hen is 


less than two feet long, with a ten-inch wing and 
tail of only eight inches. 

This pheasant only just comes within our area, 
inhabiting Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, 
whence it extends into the most southern part of 
Tenasserim. It inhabits evergreen forests, and 
is found in small parties of about half-a-dozen, 
though the males are sometimes solitary. They 
buzz with their wings like the kaleeges. Like 
them also, they are vicious birds ; a very fine speci- 
men shown me by a native gentleman in Cal- 
cutta, which had been kept for more than twelve 
years, was confined in a cage for attacking one of 
the servants — whose wrist it had ripped open with 
its spur — when allowed to run at large. Another 
of the species, in Rutledge's possession and also 
allowed liberty, was, when I last saw it, walking 
round and round an old native in a manner 
which boded an attack. It was interesting to 
see that the bird's fighting attitude was exactly- 
like what would be the show position before a hen. 
The blue face-skin was expanded, and the slanting 
pose assumed, so as to keep the copper back always 
in full view of the spectator on whom the bird 
was intent. 

Little seems to be known of the Fire-back 
altogether ; our information about its breeding 
has been furnished by a captive hen, which laidj 
in July, a buff egg a little over two inches long. 

Bornean Fire-back. 

Lophura ignita, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 288 ; Sempidan, in Sarawak. 

This has a general resemblance to the last, but differs conspicu- 
ously by having the upper tail-feathers bufi and the under-parts 



below the breast of an old-gold colour. The legs are white. 
The hen is darker on the back than the hen rufa, and has a black 
tail. The species is confined to Borneo. 

An intermediate form between rufa and ignila, known only 
from two captive specimens, has only some chestnut markings 
on the sides of the under-parts, and the upper tail-feathers white ; 
it is not known whether this is a distinct species, a hybrid, or a 
* ' sport " oiL. igniia. 

Diard's Fire-back. 

Lophura diardi, Brit. Mus. Cat, Birds, Vol. XXII. 
p. 290. 

This fire-back is a much smaller bird than the rest, being smaller 
than the common English Pheasant, and slenderly built ; it 
also has the face-skin red instead of blue, and the bare shafts 
of the crest are longer. Its general colour is grey, with a gold 
patch on the lower back, the rump glossy crimson, with blue 
edges to the feathers, and the head and tail black ; the legs are 
red. The hen is reddish brown with buff and black bars on the 
wings and the belly black with white edgings. This lovely bird 
inhabits the Shan States, and ranges to Cochin China ; it is 
much kept in captivity in Europe. 

Wattled Pheasant. 

Lobiophasis bulweri, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 292 ; Bagier, Sarawak. 

This splendid member of the Kaleege group occupies a genus 
to itself ; it is about the size of the common Kaleeges, with a 
long curved tail, composed of no less than 32 pointed feathers, 
in the male, which is of a deep metallic-blue with the tail pure 
white and neck deep red ; the head is nearly covered with blue 
bare skin produced into three pairs of wattles, and the legs are 
red. The hen has a much shorter tail, and is brown with fine 
black mottling. Young cocks have brighter red necks and short- 
er cinnamon tails. The species is only found in the mountains 
of Sarawak. 

A curious genus of Kaleeges (Acomus) in which there is no 
crest, and the tail in both sexes is folded and short, just like that 
of a common hen, may be called crestless Kaleeges. The hens 
are black, and look much like black fowls without combs. They 
all have red bare faces, and are about the size of ordinary 
Kaleeges. Three species are known. 


Malayan Crestless Kaleege. 

Acomus erythrophthalmus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 283. 

The cock is blue-black with fine white pencilling, a gold and red 
patch on the lower back, and a chestnut tail. This bird 
inhabits the Malay Peninsula, South of Indian limits, and 

.'Bomean Crestless Kaleege. 

Acomus pyronotus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 284 ; Singgier, Borneo. 

This differs from the last by the grey neck, pencilled with 
black, and in the white shaft-streaks on the neck and breast ; the 
hens of the two are alike. It inhabits Sarawak. 

Black Crestless Kaleege. 

Aeomus inornatus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 285 ; Ajam mera muta, Sumatra. 

As its name implies, this species is black all over, at least in 
the cock ; the hen is unknown. It is found in Sumatra, on Mount 
Singallan and the Padang highlands. 

The Eared-Pheasants {Crossoptilon) of Central Asia and China 
are large, fine, heavily-built birds, of the size of Monauls, with 
large tails, shaped much like that of a common hen, but with 
the feathers peculiarly filmy and fringe-like ; the whole plumage 
is more or less of this texture, and there is no sex-difference 
in colour, though the males alone have spurs. The throat 
in all is white and the cap black, and there are white tufts stand- 
ing up like ears on each side of the head, whence the name of 
the group. All have bare red faces and red feet. There are 
only five species. 

The White Eared- PheasanL 

Crossoptilon iibetanum, Brit. Mus. Cat., Vol. XXII, 
p. 293- 

This species has the plumage for the most part white, but the 
tail is glossy blue-black. It inhabits high elevations in East 
Tibet and West China. 


The White-tailed Eared-Pheasant. 

Crossoptilon leucurum, Brit. Mus. Cat., Vol. XXII, 
p. 294. 

This East-Tibetan species only differs from the last in the male 
in having the tail only blue-black at the tip, the base being white ; 
in the female the dark parts of the tail-feathers are slate-colour. 
It may ultimately be proved to be only a local race or variety 
of the last. 

The Blue Eared- Pheasant. 

Crossoptilon auritum, Brit. Mus. Cat., Vol. XXII, 
p. 295. 

Ranges from Kokonor to East Szechuen, and is mainly blue- 
grey, with the tail white, tipped with black. It lives in mountain . 
woods and lays olive-grey eggs. 

Harman's Eared-Pheasant- 

Crossoptilon harmani, Brit. Mus. Cat., Vol. XXII, 
p. 296. 

Difiers from the last in having more white about the head and 
neck and hardly any on the tail. The only known specimen 
was got 150 miles east of Lhassa. 

Brown Eared-Pheasant. 

Crossoptilon mantchuricum, Brit. Mus. Cat., Vol. XXII, 
p. 294. 

Inhabits the mountains of Manchuria and Pe-che-lee, and is 
mainly sooty brown in colour, with the tail white, tipped with 
blue-black. It has been fairly freely imported into Europe 
and breeds well in captivity, laying pale stone-coloured eggs 



With the bhds discussed in the last chapter 
the series of pheasants comes to an end, and we 
enter on the consideration of the various partridges. 
These are, as was said in the Introduction, short- 
tailed birds, usually much smaller than pheasants. 
They fall into several very -natural generic groups, 
some containing only one Indian species each. 
There is some difficulty for the beginner in making 
them out, for the males are generally plain and 
much like the females, and do not present those 
striking characteristics which make the various 
cock pheasants referable to their proper genera 
at once. But with a little trouble partridges are 
not more difficult correctly to identify than are 
hen pheasants. 

Taking as" partridges all the short-tailed game 
birds with a wing over five inches long — under that 
size they rank as quails — we find that they may 
again be subdivided, as were the pheasants, by 
the length of tail. All partridges have rather 
short tails, but in some the tail is very short and 
not a very noticeable feature. 

Among the longer-tailed partridges, in which 
the tail is more than half the length of the closed 
wing, we find the Snow-cocks, the Snow-partridge, 
the Bamboo-partridge, the Spur-fowls, the Chukor, 


the Tibetan partridge, and the Francolins. Of 
these : — 

The Sncka-cocks (two species) are easily distin- 
guished by their great size, being a foot and-n- 
half long, and bulkier than an ordinary fowl. No 
other Indian partridge exceeds fifteen inches. 

The Snow-partridge is at once recognisable by 
having the front of the shanks feathered half- 
way down, the only other Indian game bird with 
this peculiarity being the very easily distinguish- 
able Monauls. 

The Bamboo-partridge has a particularly long 
tail, only about an inch shorter than the wing. 

The Spiir-foTsis (three species) have equally 
long tails, but their eyes are surrounded by a bare 
skin, unlike those of the Bamboo-partridges. 

The Chukor is easily recognisable by its plain 
drab upper surface. 

The Tibetan partridge by the black patch in the 
middle of its breast. 

The Francolins (five species) include all the 
other medium-tailed partridges. They may be 
known by having no striking points, so to speak ; 
no particular length of tail, no bare skin rormd 
the eye or feathering on the shanks ; their backs 
are never plain drab, nor have they a conspicuous 
black patch on the breast. 

To the section of partridges with very short tails 
belong the hill partridges, the Green-legged par- 
tridge, the chestnut Wood-partridge, the Crested 
partridge and the Seesee, distinguished as follows : — 

The Hill partridges (six species) by tlieir re- 
markably long nails. 


The Green-legged partridge by a peculiar patch 
of white downy feathers under the wing, just 
behind the armpit. 

The Chestnut Wood-partridge by being mostly 
of a chestnut colour. 

The Crested partridge by the male being dark 
blue and the female green. 

The Seesee by its sandy colour and pale yellow legs. 

In the present chapter I propose to deal briefly 
with the Alpine Snow-cocks and Snow-partiidge, 
the Chukor, and the derert-haunting Seesee. 

The Snow-cocks are veiy large grey birds, living 
on the mountains above the forest-level, and feed- 
ing on grass chiefly — there is not much else to eat 
where they are found. Two species are found 
with us. The cocks and hens are alike in plumage, 
but the former alone are spurred. 

The Himalayan Snow-cock. 

Tetraogallus himalayensis, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 143. 

Native names : — Kullu, Lupu, Baera, in 
Western Nepal ; Huinwal, in Kumaun ; 
Jermonal, in the hills north of Mussoo- 
rie ; I.eepin, Kulu ; Golound, in Chamba ; 
Gourkagu or Kubuk, in Kashmir ; Kabk- 
i-dara, in Afghanistan. The name Ram- 
ckukor is, I believe, used in Gilgit. It is 
really the best one for these birds, which 
are really gigantic relatives of the Chukor. 

The general colour of this bird is grizzled grey 
with some chestnut markings ; the throat is white 
with a chestnut border and the breast white with 


some black bars ; the pinion-quills are white with 
broad black tips. The bill is horn colour, the 
feet orange, and the eyes dark, with a patch of 
bare yellow skin behind them. The hen is easily 
distinguishable from the cock by her much smaller 
size ; she is about two inches under two feet long, 
while he exceeds that length by about two inches. 
Young birds show some brown mottling on the 
forehead which is not present in old ones. 

This noble partridge is found from Afghanistan 
and Central Asia all along the Himalayas as far as 
Kumaon. According to season it is found at from 
18,000 to 7,000 feet elevation, keeping usually in 
flocks, which frequent open rocky groimd. It 
breeds high up, from May to July, usually laying 
five eggs, drab with reddish brown spots, and rea ch- 
ing nearly three inches in length. The golden 
eagle appears to spend a good deal of its time in 
trying to catch these birds, without very much 
success ; for they are very wideawake, and the 
human hunter finds a rifle the best weapon with 
which to come to terms with them. And then 
when they are brought to bag they are not good 
eating according to European tastes, although 
natives are glad enough to get them. The call 
of this bird is a whistle which it keeps uttering all 
the while it flies. 

The Tibetan Snow-cock. 

Tetraogallus tibetanus, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, page 144. 

Native name : — Hrak-fa, Bhutia in Sikkim. 

This bird bears a general resemblance to the 
last, but is considerably smaller ; it has no chest- 


nut about the neck, and the breast is devoid of 
black markings, but crossed by a broad grey band. 
The most striking differences, however, are that 
the under -parts are streaked with black and white 
instead of being grey, and that the pinion-quills 
are brown with white tips. The ' cock and hen do 
not differ much in size in this species, and even 
the former is smaller than the hen of the Hima- 
layan bird. The cock's bill and legs are red, and 
there is a red skin round the dark eyes. The 
hen's bill, however, is of a greenish colour, though 
she appears not to differ in plumage. Young 
birds, however, have only the throa.t white, the 
breast being grizzled with dark-grey and buff, 
and Mr. Ogilvie-Grant, our leading authority on 
■Game-birds, is disposed to think tliat the so- 
called T. henrici is simply a young tibetanu.s. 

This species is properly a Tibetan bird, but in 
our territory it has been found in Ladak, Spiti, 
Kumaun and Sikkim, always at a very high ele- 
vation, being an even more alpine bird than the 
last. All that is known about its breeding is that 
its egg is like that of the Himalaya n species, but 
smaller. It appears to be a much better bird for 
the table. 

Three other species of this genus inhabit 
mountain-ranges outside India. 

Altai Snow-cock. 

Teiraogallus altaicus, Brit.Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. no. 

The Snow-cock of the Altai is most like the Tibetan, but has 
a black bill and some white at the base of the outer pinion- 


Caspian Snow-cock. 

Tetraogattus caspicus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII^ 
p. io8. 

This is like the Himalayan Snow-cock, but has no chestnut 
about the back of the neck, a grey breast, and is paler generally. 
It inhabits the mountains from the Caucasus to South Persia. 

Caucasian Snow-cock ■ 

Tetraogattus caucasicus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 109. 

This species, found on the highest parts of the Caucasus, is 
distinguished from the Caspian species by the chestnut patch at 
the back of the head, and by the grey of the upper back and 
breast being mixed with buff. 

The Grouse-Pheasants {Tetraophasis) are big birds of the 
size and shape of Monauls, but plainly coloured, with no sex 
difference except the presence of spurs in the male. 

The Dark-throated Grouse-Pheasant. 

Tetraophasis obscurus. Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 102. 

Ranges from East Tibet to the Kansu mountains ; colour dull 
brown and grey, with outer tail-feathers tipped first black and 
then white ; throat chestnut. 

The Pale-throated Grouse- Pheasant. 

Tetraophasis szchenvii, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 

XXII, p, 103. ■ 

Distinguished from the above by the fawn-coloured throat 
and greyer lower back ; found in the Central Tibetan Mountains. 


The Snow-Partridge. 

Lerwa nmcola, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 

Vol. IV, pa,ge 145. 
Native names : — Lerwa, Bhutia ; Jangu- 

ria, Kumaun ; Quoir monal, Garhwal ; 

Golabi, Bhair, Ter Titar, Bashahr, etc. ; 

Barf ka Titar, Kulu ; Biju, Chamba. 
This is a much smaller bird than the Snow-cocks, 
and in appearance and habits much recalls a 
Ptarmigan. The cock and hen are alike in plum- 
age, but the former is distinguished by possessing 

The head, neck and upper plumage generally 
are closely barred with black and white, the latter 
colour running into buff in places ; the under -parts 
are mostly of a dark chestnut. This rich plum- 
age is well set off by the red beak and legs. The 
eyes are dark. Young birds are less distinctly 
barred and are mottled with black below. The 
length is about fifteen inches, with a wing of nearly 
eight, tail four-and-a-half, bill nearly one, and 
shank half an inch longer. 

The Snow-partridge inhabits the Himalayas 
from Kashmir to Sikkim and extends to Moupin 
and Western China. It is locally distributed with 
us, and is usually found at very high elevations,, 
close up to the snow, among stones and stunted 
herbage. Its usual elevation is about 11,000 feet, 
though in winter it may come down as low as 7,000. 
It goes in pairs in the breeding season, and its 
chicks have been found late in June. Later on 
it is found in coveys, and affords excellent sport ; 
it is also remarkably good to eat. But as it is 
commonly found on the same ground as Burrhel 


and Tahr, it is usually neglected by sportsmen for 
the nobler game. 

The Tibetan Partridge. 

Perdix hodgsomcs. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 142. 

Native name : — Sakpha, Tibetan. 

This partridge bears a strong resemblance to 
the common partridge at home ; the cock and hen 
are alike, and neither of them possesses spurs. 
The plumage is an intricate mixture of buff, black 
and chestnut, with the throat white and neck 
chestnut ; the under-parts are white, barred with 
black, which colour forrhs a patch in the centre, 
and there is a black patch on each cheek ; the bill 
and legs are of a dirty green, and there is some 
reddish skin round the eye. 

This bird is about a foot long, with a wing of 
six inches. 

The species is, properly speaking, a native of 
Tibet, but it has strayed into our territories, one 
having been got by Mr. Wilson in the Bhagirathi 
valley, when shooting chukor in the autumn of 
1841. It appears to be a bird of very high ele- 
vations. Its eggs have been taken in Tibet in 
July ; they were ten in number, and of a pale drab 
tint without spots. 

Prjevalsky's Partridge- 

■Perdix sifanica, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 195- 

Very like the Tibetan partridge, this species, from Kansu, 
■may be distinguished by having no black patch on the breast, 
and by the admixture of chestnut in the black cheek patch', 
•which is also smaller ; the bird is smaller altogetlier than the 




Black Partridge, Cock. 

L. Medland. 


The Common European Partridge. 

Perdix perdix, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 187. 

This familiar bird is of a finely pencilled brown and buff above, 
and finely pencilled grey on the breast, with the head bnff, and a 
chestnut patch below the breast ; the hen has this when young,, 
and then is best distinguished by having a patch on the flat of 
the wing barred across with buff as well as streaked with this 
colour, the cock only having the central streaks. In addition to- 
Europe, this partridge inhabits Western Asia east to North 
Persia ; it has been introduced also into the United States. 

Bearded Partridge. 

Perdix dawrica, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 193- 

This Partridge differs from the common species by having the 
throat feathers long and pointed, and the buff of this region ex- 
tending right down the breast ; the " horse-shoe ' ' mark below 
this is black, not chestnut. The hen has less buff and black on. 
the breast. This species ranges from Central Asia to North China ; 
it is often exported frozen, and may be seen in the London 

The Chukor. 

Caccahis chucar, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds,. 
Vol. IV, p. 131. 

Native names : — Chukar, Hindi ; Kabk, Per- 
sian ; Kau-kau, Kaslimir ; Chukru, Chamba. 

The chukor is one of the group of red-legged 
partridges to which the well-known ' ' French 
partridge ' ' [Caccabis rufa) belongs, and much 
resembles that bird. The cock and hen are alike 
in plumage, but the former may be distinguished 
by having a knob or blunt spur on each leg. 


The plumage above and on the breast is of a 
plain grey without any markings, with a tinge 
of reddish in places and sometimes verging on 
olive-brown ; the throat is white or buff, surround- 
ed by a black band. The lower parts below the 
breast are buff, and the flanks very beautifully 
banded vertically with grey, buff, black and chest- 
nut. The bUl, legs and eyelids are red, and the 
eyes themselves dark or orange. 

The cock, which is a little larger than the hen, 
is about fifteen inches long, with the wing six 
inches and-a-half, tail just over four, shank nearly 
two, and bill just over one. 

The chukor has a very wide range, from Greece 
to China. It is a lover of open hilly ground, and 
with us is found on the Himalayas, in the hilly 
parts of the Punjab and in the higher hills of Sind 
west of the Indus. According to the country it 
inhabits, it is found from the sea-level up to 
12,000 feet, and in Tibet even to 16,000. Hima- 
layan birds are darker and browner in tint, but 
in Ladak, the Western Punjab, and Sind — ^in dry 
open tracts, in fact — are paler and greyer. The 
birds haunt open hill-sides among grass and .scat- 
tered bushes, but may also be found in more or 
less wooded country and in cultivation. In 
winter they go in coveys or even flocks, but in the 
breeding season in pairs. The said season is from 
April to August, varying according to the eleva- 
tion ; for birds at high levels of course breed later. 
The eggs are up to a dozen, cream-colour with 
brown or lilac spots. The chukor is a noisy bird, 
and its two-syllabled note has given origin to its 
name. It is a fairly good sportirg bird, but not so 
good to eat as some other partridges. The ancient 


Greeks, judging from a passage in Xenophon, 
appear to have been in the habit of riding it down, 
a sport which is still practised in Yarkand. 

The chukor is a good bird for introduction 
abroad where partridges are required, on account 
of its adaptable contstitution. It was tried in 
New Zealand, and bade fair to succeed, but the 
birds were not sufficiently protected, and were 
all shot off almost at once. It would hardly be 
worth while to turn it out in England, as we have 
already the very similar red-legged partridge there. 
Indeed, I have been asked whether the two were 
not identical. But the red-leg or "French- 
man " at home is a brown-backed bird, not greyish, 
and has a number of black spots bordering the 
black necklace outside, and thus is easily distin- 
guishable from the chukor. 

Prjevalsky's Chukor. 

Caccabis magna, Brit. Mns. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 120. 

This is larger than the common chukor, and has the black 
throat-band bordered with chestnut ; the general colour is paler. 
Moreover, it is a more silent bird, though occasionally uttering a 
two-syUabled note of a hollow sound, peculiar to itseU. It 
inhabits South Kokonor, Tibet, and Tsaidam. 

Black.headed Chukor. 

Caccabis melanocephala, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 122. 

Much the largest of the chukor genus, being as big as a hen 
pheasant, this species is likewise distinguished by its black cap 
and very grey colour. It is found in South- West Arabia, and 
is common in the country inland of Aden. 


The Seesee. 

Ammoperdix bonhami, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 133. 

Native names : — Sisi, Punjab and Sind ; 
Tihu, Persian. 

This is a short-tailed little desert partridge, with 
plumage beautifully adapted for concealing it 
in its natural haunts. The cock and hen differed 
somewhat in colour, but neither has any spurs. 

The cock is of a grizzled sandy hue above 
with a grey head and fore-neck, and the under- 
parts below this pinky buff. There is a black 
streak along each side of the head with a white 
one under it, and the flanks are streaked with 
black and chestnut. 

The hen has no black and white markings on 
the head nor chestnut on the flanks ; the lower 
plumage is barred with brown and buff. 

The bin is orange, the eyes yellow or brown, 
and the legs yellow. The cock, which is rather 
larger than the hen, is ten inches long, with a 
wing of five-and-a-half. 

The Seesee inhabits hilly deserts, avoiding cover, 
though it may be found on , grassy slopes. In 
India it inhabits the Salt Range and Khariar 
Hills in the Punjab, Hazara, and all the Sind and 
Punjab ranges west of the Indus. It is also found 
in Baluchistan, Afghanistan and Persia ; and has 
been reported from Aden. 

It has a soft clear double note, recalling its 
name ; and is not usually gregarious, though small 
coveys may be found in winter. 


The breeding season is from April to June, and 
as with the chukor, the eggs may be as many as 
twelve in number, but they are creamy-white in 
colour without any spots. 

Hey's Seesee. 

Ammoperdix heyi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 125. 

Hardly more than a race of the Indian Seesee, this bird is dis- 
tinguished by having no black band on the head, and some 
chestnut on the cheek ; the hens are alike. The species inhabits 
the countries bordering the Red Sea, and ranges to Palestine, 
Egypt, and the Persian Gulf. 


Francolins and Spur-fowl. 

The partridge to which the above names are 
applied form two very distinct groups, the Spur- 
fowl in particular being very easily recognisable. 
They are smallish birds, quite partridges in size, 
but with longer tails than partridges usually have ; 
and as they sometimes raise these in a folded form, 
they remind one much at times of small bantam 
fowls, their resemblance to these being increased by 
the bare red skin which, as in fowls, surroimds 
their eyes. The cocks are always quite differ- 
ent in plumage from the hens, and have two or 
three spurs on each leg, the hens having one, two, 
or none. 

These birds are perhaps just as much miniature 
jungle-fowl as partridges, but as they have not the 
hackles or long tail of the jungle-cocks, they may 
as well be classed with the partridges as anywhere 
else, the various groups of the pheasant family 
being inter-related in such a complex way that 
it is quite impossible to arrange them naturally 
in a line so to speak — a difiiciilty which besets 
all classifications. 

The Spur-fowl are only found in India and 
Ceylon, three species being known; they all keep 
much to cover and are difficult to flush. 


The Red Spur-fowl. 

Galloferdix spadicea, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. io6. 

Native names : — Chota jungli murghi, 
Hind, in Central Provinces ; chakrotri, 
kokatri, Mahrattas in the Syhadri Range ; 
kustoor, Mahrattas of the Deccari ; 
sarrava koli, Tamil ; yena-kodi, jitta kodi, 

The general colour of the male of this species 
is chestnut, the female being mottled black and 
buff ; the legs and base of the bill are red, as well 
as the naked skin round the eyes. The cock is 
about fourteen inches long, with a six-inch tail, 
and wing exceeding this by half-an-inch, the biU 
from gape is an inch in length, and the shank 
nearly twice this. The hen is a little smaller. 

This Spur-fowl inhabits the base of the Hima- 
layas in Oudh, and is found in the Peninsula South 
of the Indo-Gangetic plain wherever the locality 
is suitable, for it avoids cultivation and open 
country, frequently hilly forest land. 

It varies a good deal in plumage, birds from 
Mount Abu and the neighbourhood being paler, 
especially the hens, in which the black pencilling 
on the back is very scanty, and the ground-colour 
pale and greyish." About Matheran and Maha- 
bleshwar, also, hen birds are very lightly pencilled, 
although the ground-colour is as rich as in t57pical 

This bird is shy and often solitary, a great runner, 
and seldom seen on the wing ; the call of the male 


is said to be well imitated by the Mahratta name 
kokatri, being a kind of crow ; the general note is 
a harsh cackle. It breeds between February and 
June, and possibly again towards the end of the 
year ; three to seven eggs are laid, of a buff or 
greyish colour. It is good eating in the cold 
weather, but requires hanging for a few days. 

The Psiintedl Spur-fowl. 

Galloperdix lunulata. Faun. Brit. Ind.,. 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. io8. 

Native names : — Kaingir, Uriya ; A skal,. 
Oiissa and Singbhum ; Hutka, Gond in 
Chamba ; Kul-koU, Tamil ; Jitta-kodi,. 

This bird is slightly smaller than the last, the 
male being little over a foot in length ; it also 
shows very little red round the eye. Its colour,, 
however, makes it easily distinguishable from any 
other partridge like bird. The general hue is 
chestnut, with white black-edged spots ; the head 
is speckled with black and white, the crown being 
glossed with green ; the shoulders are also dark, 
glossy green, and the tail is green-black, and the 
breast buff with black spots. 

The hen is of a uniform sooty brown, with the 
head mostly chestnut. The bill and feet are dusky 
in both sexes, not red as in the other species. 

This beautifully-marked bird especially affects 
rocky hills, and is somewhat locally distributed. 
It appears not to occur at all on the Malabar coast, 
nor in North-Western India, nor is it found in the 


Bombay Presidency, north of Belgatim, nor any- 
where north of the Ganges. Although it occurs in 
some parts of the Red Spur-fowl's territory, it 
does not extend so far to the west or north. Its 
breeding-season is from March to May, and the 
■eggs, which are glossy and pale drab in colour, do 
not exceed five in number. 

The Ceylon Spur-fowl. 

Galloperdix bicalcarata. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV. p. loig. 

Native names : — Haban or Saban-kukula. 

In size this bird is intermediate between the 
last two, but has a shorter tail than either of them. 
The cock has a speckled appearance, being streak- 
ed above and on the flanks with white on a black 
ground ; the neck in front is white with black 
edgings, and the breast pure white ; the rump is 
chestnut, and there is an intermixture of this 
■colour on the shoulders ; the tail and most of the 
wings are black, and the lower part of the belly 
■dark brown with pale spots. 

The hen is of a dull chestnut brown, and both 
■sexes have red bills and feet as well as a red bare 
space round the eye. 

This is the only Spur-fowl found in Ceylon, and 
it is confined to that island. _ Even there its range 
is not universal, for it is absent from the dry north- 
•ern portion. Being like the rest of the group, 
an inveterate skulker, and having a cackling 
note, it is more often heard than seen. It breeds 
irom April to August, the eggs being cream- 
coloured and usually only four in number. 


The Francolins are a numerous group of par- 
tridges, mostly found in Africa ; five species _ are, 
however, Indian, and these include the most widely 
spread and best known of our partridges. They are 
of the typical partridge form, with tails of 
medium length, and no bare skin about the 
eyes. In all, the cocks differ from the hens either 
in plumage or by possessing spurs ; these are al\vays 
absent in the hens. The Francolms are inclined 
to affect cultivation, and are the best of our par- 
tridges for sporting purposes. 

The commonest of. aJl is — . 

The Grey Partridge. 

Francolinus pondicerianus. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 139. 

Native names : — Titar, Ram titar, gora 
iitar, safed titar. Hind. ; Khyr, Bengali, 
Uriya ; Gowjal huki, Canarese ; Kondari^ 
Tamil ; Kaweenju, Telugu ; Oussa-watuwa^ 

The sexes are alike in colour in this species ; 
the upper parts are brown, boldly pencilled with 
dark-edged creamy-white bars, and the lower parts 
buii with fine dark transverse pencilling ; the 
throat is buff surrounded by a broken blackish 
band, and the outer taU-f eathei s chestnut. The 
bill is dark grey, the' eyes dark, and the legs dull 
red. The cock is distinguished from . the hen by 
being slightly larger and by having a sharp spur 
on each leg ; he is just over a foot long, \\ith the 
wing nearly six inches, and the shank about an 
inch apd a half. 


This bird is found almost all over India, but it 
avoids swamps and thick forest, and does not 
usually ascend hills to a higher level than 1,500 feet. 
It is absent from Lower Bengal and from the 
Malabar coast south of Bombay, and it is not found 
east of India ; Westwards, however, it ranges as 
far as the Persian Gulf. 

It is most abundant where cultivation is inter- 
spersed with bush jungle, and its harsh shrill call, 
beginning with single notes, and continued in 
tri-syllables, is familiar to everyone, for it is as 
well known in towns as in the country, being a 
favourite cage-bird with the natives. Some of 
them like the note, but the great reason for keep- 
ing partridges is the sport they afford as fighting 
birds. So pugnacious are they, that I have seen 
two birds let out of their cages near a lawn which 
had no idea of " going to grass," but flew at each 
other straightway ; and they are commonly caught 
by pTitting out a tame cock on a cage garnished 
with nooses, in which his wild assailants are 
caught. To make him call and challenge them, 
he is blown upon, an act which excites him to the 
greatest fury. Many birds also, at Calcutta at 
any rate, are brought in as mere chicks, and reared 
by hand. It may be that such specimens are the 
very tame ones one sees following their owners 
like so many little dogs, when let out; but pos- 
sibly this partridge, like the chukor, can easily 
be tamed when adult. Double-spurred birds now 
and then occur, and are naturally preferred by 
the natives for fighting, but I have never seen such 
an one. 

For ordinary sporting purposes, amongst Eu- 
ropeans, this partridge is not much esteemed ; it 


is hard to flush, being an inveterate runner, and 
when you have got it is apt to be dry and flavour- 
less ; the best time to get it in good condition is 
in the early part of the cold weather. It has a 
very bad reputation as a filthy feeder, but both 
Pea-fowl and Jungle-fowl, when found near villages, 
are by no means blameless in this respect, so that 
very possibly the humble partridge is not so very 
much behind his betters. 

The breeding-season of this bird is an extended 
one, for while it usually goes to nest between Feb- 
ruary and June, many breed a second time be- 
tween September and November ; the eggs are 
brownish white, and six to nine form the set. 

The Swamp Partridge. 

Francolinus gularis. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 141. 

Native najwes -.—Khyah, Khyr, Kaijah, 
Bengali ; Koi, koera, Assamese ; Bhil-titar, 
Cachari ; it was formerly sometimes erro- 
neously called Chukore by European sports- 

This species is easily distinguished from most 
of our partridges by its large size and compara- 
tively long legs ; as in the last species, the sexes 
are alike in plumage, but the cock is easily distin- 
guishable by his spurs. The upper plumage is 
brown barred with bufE, and the outer tail-feathers 
chestnut, as in the Grey Partridge ; but the throat 
is bright rust-red, and the rest of the under-parts 
brown longitudinally streaked with white. The 


bill is blackish, the eyes dark, and the feet dull 

The cock of this species, which is a little larger 
than the hen, will measure fifteen inches, though 
his tail is only a little over four ; the wing is 
more than seven inches, and the shank two and-a- 

The Swamp Partridge, as its name implies, has 
a habitat quite different from our other species, 
affecting high grass and cane-brakes near the 
■edges of rivers and j heels, though it will come 
into cultivated ground to feed. It haunts the 
alluvial plains of the Ganges and Brahmaputra, 
■extending from Pilibhit to the extremity of Assam 
and Cachar, and even occurs occasionally on the 
Khasi plateau ; but it is not found in the Sundar- 
bans. Very little is known about its breeding, 
but on two occasions five eggs of the species have 
been taken in April ; they were cream-coloured 
and slightly speckled. 

Owing to the localities which it frequents, the 
Swamp Partridge is usually shot from elephants ; 
but Blanford states that he has shot it on foot 
near Co] gong, in grass only three or four feet high. 
He says it much resembles the common Grey Par- 
tridge in its edible qualities, as it also does in its 
call ; and it is equally pugnacious. Mr. Hume, 
in the ' ' Game-birds of India, ' ' falls foul of his 
artist for representing this species standing in 
water like a wading-bird. No doubt the draughts- 
man represented it thus in ignorance, but it would 
be interesting to know if this, one of the very few 
■swamp-haunting birds in the pheasant family, 
€ver does voluntarily gO into water in the wild 


state. The keeper of the aviary in which a speci- 
men of this species was confined in the London Zoo 
told me that he had seen it standing in water. 

The Black Partridge. 

Francolinus vulgaris. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 135. 

Native names : — Kala-titar, Hind. ; Kais- 
titar (the female) Nepal ; Tetra, Garhwal ; 
Vrembi of the Manipuris. 

In this species the cock is spurred, and his 
plumage differs conspicuously from that of the 
female. His general colour is black, with a long 
white patch on each side of the face, large white 
spots along the flanks, and close white barring on 
the lower part of the back and the tail. There is 
a chestnut collar round the neck, and a patch of 
the same colour under the tail ; the shoulders and 
most of the wings are brown marked with buff, 
the markings following the edge of the feathers ; 
the quills are barred with buff. The belly is pale 
chestnut marked with white ; the crown streaked 
light and dark brown. 

The hen is somewhat like the cock above, but 
the barring of the back and tail is coarser, and 
brown and buff instead of black and white. She 
shows no black on the head or below, and no chest- 
nut on the neck except at the back of it. She has 
the eyebrows and sides of the head buff, the throat 
nearly white, and the rest of the lower parts buff 
irregularly pencilled with brown. 


Young cocks are more spotted with white than 
the old birds, and young hens also are spotted on 
the breast, not pencilled like old ones. 

The bill is black in the cock and dark brown in 
the hen ; the eyes dark and the legs orange-red in 
both sexes. 

The sexes both vary in size, but the cocks are- 
the largest ; one will measure about thirteen and- 
a-half inches, with the tail four inches and the 
wing just over six ; the shank is about two. 

The Black Partridge with us inhabits Northern 
India from Sind to Manipur ; its Southern boundary 
runs south of Cutch and north of Kattywar, and 
thence to the Chilka lake in Orissa. To the north- 
ward it ascends the outer slopes of the Hima- 
layas, following the river valleys, to about 5,00a 
feet ; Manipur is its eastern and southern limit, 
but it has a wide range to the west of India,, 
ranging through Persia and Asia Minor even to 
Cyprus. It formerly inhabited Greece, Italy,. 
Sicily, and Spain, and appear to have been the 
bird known to the Greeks and Romans as Attagen,. 
and much esteemed for the table. It has, however,^ 
become extinct in these western countries, and is 
evidently a bird which needs careful preservation. 
This it well deserves, as it is an excellent sporting 
bird, and very good eating ; in fact, it is one of 
the most desirable of all partridges. Its strong- 
hold in India is the Indo-Gangetic plain and the 
regions adjacent ; it especially frequents high grass 
and tamarisk scrub near water and cultivation, 
and often cultivated ground itself. It is generally 
met with singly or in pairs. The male has a terribly 
harsh call-note or crow, which he is fond of utter- 


ing from an ant-hill. There is a pretty native 
legend which renders the call as " Subhan, teri 
Jiudrat,''' but I have never been able to fit these 
pious words to it, or any others. The Black Par- 
tridge breeds from May to August, most birds 
nesting in June ; the eggs are fairly numerous, six 
lo ten, and drab in colour. 

The Painted Partridge or Francolin. 

FrancoUnus pictus. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 137. 

Native names : — Titar, kala titar, Mahratta ; 
Kakhera kodi, Telugu. 

In this species neither sex possesses spurs, and 
the cock and hen are much alike, though not indis- 
tinguishable. It is rather smaller than the Black 
Partridge. The cock is not unlike the male Black 
Partridge, above, but very different below, being 
so heavily spotted with white that there is only 
enough black to separate the spots ; there is no 
chestnut collar round the neck, but the ej^ebrows, 
face, and throat are chestnut. In the hen the 
throat is whitish, and the bars on the back are 
buff, and wider apart than in the cock. The bUl 
is blackish, the eyes dark, and the legs orange-red. 

This bird occupies a territory south of the Black 
Partridges, the southern limit of that bird being 
the northern frontier of the painted species ; this 
becomes rarer towards the south, and is absent 
irom the Malabar Coast, south of Bombay, as also 
irom Mysore. Nor is it found in the Peninsula, 
south of Coimbatore, although occurring in Ceylon 
■on some of the hUls west and south of Newera 


Eliya. It is not found east or west of India. It 
meets the Black Partridge on the boundary of 
that species, and hybrids between the two are 
occasionally found. Its general habits and quali- 
fications as a sporting bird and table delicacy are 
much the same as those of the Black Partridge, 
and it may be regarded as one of our most desirable 
Game-birds. It is more often found in cultivated 
land than the other species, and also more fre- 
quently occurs in dry grass land at a distance from 
water, so that it would appear to be of a more 
adaptable nature. Another detail of its habits, 
which differs from those of the other species is its 
partiality for perching in trees, whence the male 
frequently calls ; he has a different and less harsh 
note. "Hie nest and eggs are much like those of 
the Black Partridge, but the present bird seems 
to breed somewhat later. 

The Eastern or Chinese Francolin. 

FrancoHnus chinensis, Faun. Brit. Ind.,. 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 138. 

Native name -.—^Kha, Burmese. 

The Chinese Francolin is intermediate in size 
between the black and the painted Francolins ; 
the sexes differ in colour nearly as conspicuously 
as those of the black species, and the male alone 
possesses spurs. His general colour is black, spotted 
with white, the spots becoming broad bars on the 
belly. The top of the head is brown with pale 
edges and black forehead and eyebrows ; there is 
another black band from the corner of the mouth 
to below the ears, and between this and the eye- 


brow a white streak covers the side of the face, 
the throat also being white. The lower back is 
black with close narrow white bars ; under the tail 
is a chestnut patch, and the shoulder-feathers and 
innermost wing — quills are edged with chestnut 
and have the spots buff. 

The hen is brown above, with a pale mottling ; 
the lower back is barred with buff and brown ; the 
chin and throat dirty white, and the luider- 
parts below this buff barred with dark brown, 
and plain chestnut under the tail. On the head 
the eyebrows and cheek-stripes are brown and 
the light band buff. 

The beak is dark brown, eyes light hazel, and 
legs orange. 

This Francolin is found, in our Indian empire, 
only in certain parts of Burma and in Karennee. 
It is common in certain localities, north of Prome, 
in the Irrawaddy valley, and has also been ob- 
tained in Toungoo and the Thoungyen valley. 
■Outside Burma it inhabits South China, Cochin 
•China and Siam. Its general habits resemble 
those of the two previous species ; it haunts forest 
clearings and waste land, and is also found in 
bamboo jungle. In Burma it breeds in June and 
July ; as many as eight eggs may be laid, and 
they are pale buff in colour. 

Large-billed Francolin. 

Rhizothera longirostris, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, 
Vol. XXII, p. 183. 

This peculiar Partridge, which ranges from the south of the 
Malay Peninsula to Borneo, is at once recognisable by its large 
bill, which is big enough for a Peacock, though the "bird is 6f 


the ordinary Partridge size, about fourteen inches long. Both 
sexes are spurred. The cock is mottled with brown, black, and 
bufi above, mixed with grey on the lower back ; the face and the 
back are chestnut, the neck and breast grey, the abdomen deep 
bufi ; the hen has less grey on the back and a chestnut breast. 

Hose's Large-billed Francolin. 

Rhizothera duHtensis, Ogilvie Grant, Game-birds, 
iVol. I, p. 142. fe^ 

This race, from Mount Dalit, in Borneo, has the grey extending 
further down the breast in the male, and the abdomen white. 
The hen is richer and darker in tint than that of longirostris. 


The Forest Partridge. 

The Partridges which remain to be dealt with, 
are pre-eminently forest birds, never going far 
from cover, and often perching. Most of them 
have very short tails, but one, the Bamboo Par- 
tridge, has the tail longer than in any other Indian 
species, so as rather to recall a smaU pheasant in 

The Bamboo Pairtridge. 

Bambusicola fvtchii, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 'no. 

This Partridge shows no difference in plximage 
according to sex ; the male has a spur on each 
shank, but this may be present in the female also. 
The plumage is brown above, spotted with chest- 
nut for the most part ; the face is buff, with a dark 
band behind the eye ; the breast dull chestnut 
with some white spots, and the under-parts below 
this buff, with large black spots shaped like a 
heart. The tail is barred brown and buff, and 
the pinion quills are chestnut without bars. The 
bill is brown, the eyes orange-hazel, and the legs 

This Partridge is about fourteen inches long, of 
which the tail measures nearly five ; thus, it is easy 


to distinguish it from any other species, the Spur- 
fowl, which also have longish tails, showing some 
bare skin about the eye. 

The Bamboo Partridge aiiects forest and high 
grass, and ranges through a considerable portion 
of the eastern hill tracts, from the Assam hUls 
south of the Brahmaputra, through Manipur, to 
the Kachyeng hills between Upper Burma and 
Yunnan. It is shy and has a loud harsh call. 
.'\lthough the time — May and June — of breeding 
appears to be known, the eggs are as yet desiderata. 

Chinese Bamboo Partridge. 

Bambusicolathoracica, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 258. 

This species, confined to South China, is mottled above with 
brown, chestnut, and buff ; the face, throat and tail are chestnut ; 
the eyebrows and chest grey, and the rest of the under-parts 
buff spotted with black at the sides. 

Formosan Bamboo Partridge. 

Bambusicola sonorivox, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 258. 

This, the Formosan representative of the last species, differs 
by having the sides of the face grey as well as the eyebrows, and 
being darker generally. Its eggs are light brown in colour. 

The various Hill-Partridges (Arboricola) form 
an easUy recognizable group of short-tailed birds 
with rather long spurless shanks, and particularly 
long, nearly-straight daws. The sexes are usually 
alike, and "they inhabit hill forests, keeping very 
close to cover, and occasion.illy perching. They, 
are seldom if ever seen, and little is known about 
their breeding, except that they lay half-a-dozen 



or more white eggs on the ground. Their call is 
a low soft whistle, and they are unobtrusive birds 
altogether ; yet they are a well represented group 
with us, numbering no less than six species, none 
of which, however, are found in Southern India or 
Ceylon. An interesting point about these par- 
tridges is that they possess a row of small separate 
bones along the upper edge of the orbit, a sort of 
bony eyebrow in fact. No other bird of this family 
possesses them, although they occur in some other 
groups, the Trumpeters {Psophiidcs) of South Amer- 
ica and the partridge-like Tinamous (Tinamidce) 
of the same continent. The general plan of colour- 
ation of the Indian Arboricolas is very similar, all 
having olive-brown backs, mottled with black, 
and grey flanks boldly spotted with white, and 
usually with chestnut edgings. 

The Common Hill- Partridge. 

Arboricola torqueola, Fauna Brit. Ind Birds 
Vol. IV, p. 125. 

Native names :—Peura, Ban-tiiar, Hindi, 
of Kumaun and Nepal ; Roli, Ram 
chukru, in Chamba ; Kaindal, Kangra ; Ko- 
hum-pho, Lepcha. 

This is the only species of Arboricola in which 
the sexes are different. The male has the head 
bright-chestnut above and of a paler shade of the 
same colour over and behind the ear coverts ; the 
eyebrows, sides of the head, and throat are black 
with white edgings at the sides, and there is a 
white moustache -streak. The breast is grey 


separated from the black throat by a white band. 
The skin surrounding the eye is scarlet. 

In the hen the crown is brown with black streaks, 
the sides of the head and the throat are chestnut 
with black spots ; the breast is brownish, and has 
a rusty band above it ; and the white spots on the 
flanks tend to run up to the breast, and are larger. 
However, old hens lose the breast spots, and 
yoiuig cocks possess them. Hens and young 
cocks have the skin round the face purplish-red. 
In all, the bill is black and the legs fiesh-grey. 

This partridge is a little under a foot long, with a tail 
of only three inches, and a shank nearly two. The 
-wing is six inches long. Males run larger than females. 

The common hill-partridge is found at moder- 
ate elevations along the Himalayas from Chamba 
to east of Sikkim, and also in the Naga hills and 
in those north of Manipur. It ranges from 5,000 
to 14,000 feet, but its common range does not go 
above '9,000. South of Manipur it is replaced by 
a race (A. hatemani) with the chestnut and black 
band from the ear-coverts extending all down the 
sides of the neck instead of half-way. 

Blyth's Hill-Partridge. 

Arhoricola rufigularis. Fauna Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 126. 

Native names : — In Kumaun and among 
the Lepchas this species seems to have 
the same names as the last ; in the Daphla 
hills it is called Pokhu. 

This species, like those which follow, appears to 
be a little smaller than the last. 


It has the crown olive-brown with black streaks ^ 
and the eyebrows and face white, mostly speckled 
with black. The throat is chestnut with black 
spots, and below this is a band of plain chestnut^, 
generally divided from the grey breast by a black 
band. The pure grey of the breast and the ab- 
sence of black bars on the back will distinguish 
this bird from the hen of the Common Hill-Par- 

The beak is black, the skin round the eyes dull 
dark-red, and the legs red. 

This also is a Himalayan bird, ranging from 
Kumaun to the Daphla hills, but inhabiting lower 
elevations than the Common Hill-Partridge, since 
it is found from the foot of the hills to 6,000 feet 
only. It is also found in the Karennee and Ten- 
asserim hills, and specimens from these localities 
are usually without the black band dividing the 
red neck from the grey breast. Four eggs of a 
dirty white colour were taken below Darjeeling^ 
early in July. 

The Arrakan Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola intermedia, Fauna Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 127. 

Native name : — Toung-kha, Burmese. 

This is hardly a distinct species, merely differing 
from the last in having the throat entirely black 
instead of being only spotted with that colour. 
It agrees with the eastern variety of Blyth's Hili- 
Partridge in having no black band across the chest. 


It is found in the Arrakan hills and North Pegu, 
■extending to North Cachar and the Naga hills, 
and to Eastern Manipur, where it is common. 
The eggs were taken in Manipur in May ; they 
were pure white, and six in number. 

The White-cheeked or Black-throated Hill- 

Arhoricola atrigularis, Fauna Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 127. 

Native names : — Peura in Sj'lhet ; Duboy, 
Dubore, Assamese ; San-batai, in Chitta- 

In this species the crown is brown, running into 
grey in front and chestnut behind, the feathers 
marked with black ; a double eyebrow, of grey 
above black, is present, and the eye is surrounded 
by a black patch ; the cheeks are white, running 
into buff behind ; the throat is black, becoming 
edged below first with white and then with grey, 
until it merges into the grey breast ; the grey 
flanks have no chestnut borders to the feathers 
in this bird. 

The bill is black, and the legs orange or lobster- 
red ; and the reddish skin of the face shows through 
the feathers. 

The White-cheeked Hill-Partridge extends from 
Assam south of the Brahmaputra into the Naga, 
Khasi, and Garo hills, Cachar, Sylhet, Tipperah, 
and Chittagong. The eggs have been taken in 
Sylhet on hillocks, at the foot of trees in dark and 
gloomy places ; as many as four occurring in a 


nest. They are white, and measure rather over 
an inch in length. 

The Red-breasted Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola mandelUi, Fauna Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 128. 

In this very easily recognisable species, the 
head, neck, and breast are chestnut of various 
shades ; the chin and throat being pale and uni- 
form, separated from the darker breast by a white 
band bordered below by black ; the sides and back 
of the neck are spotted with black, and the eye- 
brows are grey, meeting at the back of the head. 

Nothing is known about the colour of the bill, 
feet, etc. ; indeed, the species is a rare and little- 
studied one, which has only been obtained from 
the low hills of Bhootan and Sikhim ; and once 
from the northern part of the Goalpara district. 
However, it is so distinct from all the rest that it 
ought to be easily identified if met with. 

The Brown-bresisted Hill-Partridge. 

Arboncola brunneipectus, Fauna Biit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 128. 

Native name :— Appears to be called Toung- 
kha, like A. intermedia. 

This is a very distinct form, with the face and 
throat buff, the latter speclded with black, the 
breast brownish buff, and flanks greyish buff, 
with the usual white spots, but no chestnut ; 
the white-spotted feathers are tipped with black. 


The bill is black, the eyelids, the skin of the 
throat, where this shows through the feathers, 
and the legs, are red, the latter varying much in 
intensity of colour. 

This bird haunts the evergreen forests on the 
eastern spurs of the Pegu hills, and also inhabits 
the ranges east of the Sittang river as far as Tavoy, 
as well as the Ruby Mines District. It has not 
been often found, and so very little is known 
about it. 

Fire-Necked Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola ardens, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII. 
p. 210. 

Known only from the Hainan mountains, this species is at 
once distinguished from the rest, of which it is most like the 
white-cheeked, by the orange-red colour of its neck and breast ; 
only one specimen is on record. 

Formosan Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola crudigularis , Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 211. 

This, a Formosan mountain-bird, is distinguished from its. 
nearest ally, the white-cheeked Tree-Partridge, by having the 
upper part of the throat all white and the back with bolder dark 

Sonnerat's Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola gingica, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 213. 

Only a single specimen of this bird has ever been obtained 
and that from an unknown locality more than 100 years ago ; 
yet it is easily recognised, being distinguished by the peculiar 
marking on the neck, a black triangle above a narrow white 
band and a broad deep red one. 


Rickett's Hill-Partridge. 

A. ncA««i, Grant, BnU. Brit. Ornith. Club, Vol. VIII, 
p. xlvii. 

From the Kuatun hills in Foh-kien, is like it, but has a white 
forehead and eyebrows ; very likely Sonnerat's is only a 
variety of this. 

Javan Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola jaoanica, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 214. 

'^ The Javanese mountains are the home of this species, which 
is grey on the back and breast, the former barred with black ; 
the belly is chestnut, and the head also reddish brown, with black 
eye-stripes, 'and a black band down the back of the neck joining 
a. black collar. 

Red-billed Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola rubrirostris, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 215. 

A rare species, from the Sumatran mountains, with 
black head and neck sUghtly speckled with white, the breast 
spotted black on white, and sides barred black and white ; 
the upper parts are barred black and brown. It is con- 
spicuous by its red bill. 

Treacher's Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola hyperythra, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII 
p. 217. 

Only one specimen of this species is known, from the mountains 
of North-West Borneo ; it is most like the Brown-breasted spe- 
cies, but is all chestnut below and deeper black on the crown , 
with the sides of the head grey. 

Whitehead's Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola erythrophrys, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds Vol 
XXII, p. 218. 

This species from Mount Kina Balu in Borneo is also very 
similar to the Brown-breasted, but has the throat black in males. 


and the black cap extending down to the eyes ; young birds, 
however, have a black-spotted brown cap and grey eyebrows, 
and in those in an intermediate stage the eyebrows are chestnut 
and the throat also. 

Horsfield Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola orientalis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 

p. 2l8. 

Horsfield 's Tree-Partridge is dark-brown above, mottled 
with orange and black on the wings, with white throat and 
■eyebrows and drab breast ; the sides are mottled with grey 
white and black ; the only specimen known came from the 
mountains of East Java. 

Sumatran Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola sumairana, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 219. 

This is another very rare species, inhabiting Sumatra. Its 
nearest ally is the last, but in the present species there are no 
white eyebrows, the black and white flank-markings take the 
form of regular bars, and the general colour above is much 
brighter brown, with bold black barring. 

Roll's Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola rolli, Rothschild, Bull. Brit. Ornith. Club, 
Vol. XXV, p. 7. 

Is most like the Red-billed species, but has the bill black, the 
crown brown, marked with black, and a large white patch on 
the ears. It comes from Mt. St. Bajak in N.-W. Sumatra. 

Henry's Hill-Partridge. 

Arboricola henrici. Oustalet, Bull. Mus. Paris, II, 
P- 317- 
From Tonkin and Annam, is like the Brown-breasted species, 
but without the buff eyebrows and with the forehead chestnut 
instead of bufi. 


Campbell's HUI-Partridge. 

Arboricola campbelU, Robinson, Bull. Brit . Omith. 
Club, Vol. XV, p. 28. 

From Tehom Valley on the borders of Perak, most resembles 
the White-cheeked, but has the crown all black, and the bufi 
on the sides of the neck replaced by white, the white spots on 
the flanks, on the other hand, being replaced by buff. 

One partridge of this group found in our limits 
differs from the true Arboricolas in not having 
the peculiar bridge of bone over the eye ; it is also 
distinguished by possessing a large patch of white 
downy feathers under the wing, which is ordinarily 
concealed, even when the wing is lifted, by the 
feathers of the side. 

The Green-legged Hill-Partridge. 

Tropicoperdiix chloropus. Fauna Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 129. 

This bird bears a close general resemblance to 
the other hill-partridges, but the brown of the 
upper part is more closely mottled with black, 
and the sides of the body pale rusty with black 
blotches ; the crown is dark-brown, the eyebrows 
also brown, with white streaks, and the face and 
throat white, speckled with blackish. Below this 
the front and sides of the neck are chestnut with 
black spots, and then the breast is coloured brown 
continuously with the back. 

The bill is dark-red at the root and greenish at 
the tip ; the skin round the eye purplish ; and the 
legs pale-green. 

This partridge, which agrees with the Arboricolas 
in habits as in appearance, is found, locally, in the 


evergreen forests all through Tenasserim down to 
Tavoy, and on the eastern slopes of the Pegu hills. 
Outside Indian limits it has been obtained in Cochin 

Charlton's Hill-Partridge. 

Tropicoperdix charltoni, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 221. 

In this species, which is found from Penang to Borneo, and is 
suspected of occurring in Tenasserim, the legs are red, not green ; 
otherwise it is not unlike the last, but has even finer pencilling 
above regular black and bufE barring on the sides, and a plain 
chestnut breast. 

There remain two very beautiful short-tailed 
forest partridges, each of which claims a genus of 
its own. 

The Chestnut Wood-Partridge. 

Caloperdix oculea. Fauna Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 131. 

In this bird the tail, though short, is longer than 
in the Arboricolas, the toes, and especially the 
claws, are shorter, and the hinder toe bears a mere 
rudiment of a claw. The sexes are alike in plum- 
age, but the male has short spurs, which may be 
one or two on each leg. 

The plumage is very characteristic, the general 
colour being a rich chestnut, barred with black on 
the flanks, where also white bars may be present ; 
the back is black, pencilled with white above and 
with chestnut lower down ; the wings are brown 
with black spots, and the tail black. 


The bill is black, the eyes dark, and the legs 
dull-green. The length is just under eleven inches, 
the wing being nearly six, and the tail nearly three ; 
the shank is nearly two inches long. 

This is a forest bird, very little known, and ap- 
parently one which Europeans have never even 
seen in the wild state. It is found in the Malay 
Peninsula, and extends into the southernmost part 
of Tenasserim, where it inhabits dense jungle about 
Bankasoon. A sort of local variety of the species 
inhabits Sumatra. 

I have ventured to call this bird the " Chest- 
nut " Partridge, as "Ferruginous," the epithet 
usually imposed on it, is a rare and clumsy word. 

The Red-crested or Rooloo Paurtridge. 

Rollulus roulroul, Fauna Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. III. 

This lovely bird very properly occupies a genus 
all to itself. It has a very short tail and rather 
long legs, with feet of the ordinary size, and the 
claw of the hind toe rudimentary or altogether 
absent. A tuft of long hair-like feathers is fomid 
on the forehead in both sexes, which otherwise 
differ widely, although neither has spurs. 

The male, besides the tuft of bristles, has a full 
and large crest of loose-textured feathers on the 
head, which is of a dark-red colour. The general 
body-plumage is steel-blue with a rich satiny gloss, 
changing in some lights to green ; the wings are 
brown, and there is a white band across the fore- 


The hen has no crest, and is grass-green without 
gloss, with chestnut wings and slate-coloured 

In both sexes the eyelids and feet are brilliant 
red, the male has the base of the bill red in addi- 
tion ; but in the female it is all black. This bird 
about equals the wood-partridges in size, being 
about eleven inches long ; the wing measures five 
and-a-half inches, and the tail two and-a-half ; the 
shank about one and-a-quarter. Females are a 
little smaller than this. 

This partridge has a wide range, being found in 
Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Siam, and the Malay Penin- 
sula, where it extends into the south of Tenasserim 
near the Pakchan river. It is a forest bird, and 
gregarious in its habits, being found in small 
parties of half-a-dozen or more, comprising both 
males and females. It is described as much more 
lively in its movements than the Arbor icolas, 
running about like a quail, and not scratching so 
much as the others. The note is a soft, pleasant 
whistle. Nothing is known about the breeding 
except that the egg is buff and about an inch and- 
a-half long. This beautifiil and gentle little par- 
tridge would be a most charming aviary bird, but 
unfortunately it is not much exported, at any rate 
nowadays, and Rutledge, who imported the first 
into Calcutta many years ago, told me that the 
late ex-King of Oudh was much pleased with them 
and bought them at a high price, naming thein 
" The King's Fancy." The name " Rooloo " is 
that by which Rutledge called these birds, and I 
presume it is the native name in some parts of the 
Far East. 


Black Wood-Partridge. 

Melanoperdix nigra, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 227. 

This partridge bears a general resemblance to the last but 
has no crest or bristles on the head, and a. very thick biU. The 
■colour is very different, the cock being all black, and the hen 
chestnut, variegated with black. It ranges from the Wellesley 
Province to Borneo. 



The partridges being now disposed of, we come 
to the quails, under which heading, as I said in the 
introduction, are included all the smallest members 
of the pheasant family, having the closed wing 
under five inches in length. The term, like "teal," 
among the ducks, is somewhat conventional, for 
just as some small ducks, such as the whistlers, 
are called "teal," though their relationship to the 
proper teal is obviously small, so some of the 
"qtiails" are evidently tiny partridges rather 
than close allies of the typical quails. Whatever 
their real relationships may be, the ten little game 
birds which are popularly known as quails are 
separable as follows : — 

The Mountain quail hy having the tail well-dev- 
eloped, nearly as long as the closed wing ; other 
quails having very short tails. 

The Stout-hilled Bush-quails (2 sppcies) by their 
thick, short bills, and short but well-formed tails 
about half as long as the wing. 

The. Slight-billed Bush-quails (4 species) by having 
ordinary bills and well-formed tails about two- 
thirds as long as the wing. 

The Typical quails (3 species) by having no no- 
ticeable tail at all, the tall feathers being not only 
less than half as long as the wing, but so soft that 


they are not easily distinguished from the ordinary 
plumage of the rump. 

It should be noted that the so-caUed Button- 
quails or Bustard-quaUs do not belong to the pheas- 
ant family at all, but form a curious little group 
of their own, the Hemipodes, which will be dealt 
with at the close of this series.' They have the same 
soft tails as the typical quails, but differ from them 
and from all other Phasiomdee in having no hind- 
toe,* no web at the base of the toes, and only a 
single row of scales down the front of the shank. 
The head has also a quite different expression from 
that of ordinary quails, the bill being longer and the 
eyes yellowish white. 

The typical or soft-tailed quails fall into two 
sections, one containing the Common, Japanese 
and Rain quails, with the sexes not very different 
and about a dozen feathers ia the tail, and the 
other the little Painted Quail, in which the male 
and female are extremely unlike and there are only 
eight tail feathers. The plumage in these quails 
is marked conspicuously with light streaks above, 
and there is no spur in either sex, though this does 
not prevent the males from fighting furiously. 
They live always on the ground, and are more or 
less migratory, 

* The Australian Plain-Wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus) has a hind- 
toe and some other Australian Hemipodes have short stout bills, but the 
above characters will diagnose all Indian species. 


The Common Quail. 

Coturnix communis, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV., p. 114. 

Native names. — Bater, Bar a bater, Gagus 
baier, Hind. ; Batairo, in Sind ; Batri, 
Bengali ; Gundri, Uriya ; Soipol, Mani- 
puri ; Botah Surrai, Assamese ; Bur-ganja, 
Gur-ganj, Poona and elsewhere ; BurE in 
Belgaum ; Gogari-Yellachi, Telugu ; Peria- 
ka-deh, Tamil ; Si-pale haki, Canarese. 

Both sexes of this species are much alike, the 
plumage being a mixture of black, brown, and buff, 
streaked with cream-colour ; there is a conspicuous 
cream streak down the crown and eyebrow-stripes 
of the same colour. Below, the plumage is buff, 
darkening into reddish brown on the flanks, which 
are spotted with blackish, and boldly marked 
with whitish streaks. The pinion-quills are brown, 
with buff bars on the outer web. The bill and eyes 
are dark and the feet flesh-coloured. 

The male has the breast without spots, and the 
throat dirty white with a dull black mark, shaped 
somewhat like an anchor, the shank running down 
the centre of the throat and the arms curving up 
on each side. The female has the throat plain 
whitish, but the breast is spotted with black. Al- 
though there is a good deal of variation in tint in 
this quail, Indian specimens are on the whole true 
to colour, though some males occur with a rusty 
ground-colour on the throat ; in Europe this, and 
even the marking, is more variable : and this part 
of the plumage may be entirely dark or rusty 
brown. This quail is about eight inches long. 


with the wing, which is longer in proportion than in 
any other bird in the family, four to four-and-a- 
half inches ; the shank is about an inch long. The 
hens run larger than the cocks, though the differ- 
ence is not striking. The weight is between three 
and four ounces. 

This is the most widely-spread and thoroughly 
migratory species of the present family ; it is 
found over most of Europe, Asia, and Africa, breed- 
ing in the northern parts of its range and moving 
southwards m winter. Great numbers are caught 
on migration and many must perish at sea ; T re- 
member, many years ago, I saw one poor little thing 
try to board a ship I was on in the Red Sea, and, 
striking the side, fall into the water. Another, 
less utterly exhausted, was caught on board and 
ultimately reached the London Zoological Gardens. 
Most of our Empire is visited by this bird in winter, 
but it is most abundant in Northern India, rare in 
Burma, and absent from Ceylon and Tenasserim. 
Some come over sea on to our Western coasts — Sind, 
Cutch and Guzerat — ^but most cross the Himalayas 
from Central Asia, and these arrive earlier. 

Their distribution with us varies with the season 
they encounter on reaching India. If there is 
plenty of food in the north, most of them stay 
there, but in years when the crops are deficient 
there, they move southward to a greater extent ; 
moreover, in some years a great many more birds 
arrive than in others. In the Calcutta bazaar 
during the seven years I watched it, quails 
only came into the ordinary bird-sellers' hands 
one winter, 1899-1900 ; then the men had plenty 
of them, and they were reported as being unusually 


common in Bengal. Ordinarily only one man in 
the Calcutta bazaar had quails, and he got the 
birds from up-country and kept and fed them 
for months, being a resident and considerable 
dealer, unlike the men who only came in the 
winter to sell birds more or less locally captured. 

The quails come in across the sea from the west 
before the end of August, and about a fortnight 
later the main body from the north arrive. At 
the end of February they begin to draw northwards 
again, and if the south of India has not come up 
to their expectations, the north will be full of them 
in March. Some will linger in the south for a time 
as others had done in the north, but in any case 
hardly any will stay behind permanently and breed 
in India, 

They migrate at night as a rule, though stray 
specimens may be seen, at sea at any rate, by day. 
Mr. Hume describes how on one moonlight night 
in April, a few miles from Mussoorie, a huge cloud 
of them, "many hundred yards in length and 
fifty yards I suppose in breadth," passed over him 
quite low down. That the quail is more or less 
nocturnal I have little doubt. A specimen which 
I kept years ago in my rooms at Oxford was quite 
as active by night as by day, whereas ordinary 
birds will go to roost in a room quite irrespective 
of the artificial light of lamps or gas. For the 
same reason quails are very unsuitable inmates 
for a mixed aviary, unless they have a wing cut, 
as they will get restless at night and fly up against 
the roof, to the detriment not only of their own 
personal appearance, but also of the peace and 
happiness of the other inmates of the place. 


A special place for quails, where these birds may 
be kept for food, should, however, it is said, be kept 
dark to prevent their fighting. The floor of a 
"quailery" should be well supplied with sand, and 
fresh turf, white ants occasionally, and a constant 
supply of water in a small trough should be pro- 
vided in addition to their ordinary food of millet. 
Thus treated they wiH keep fat and healthy, and, 
as many people know, be of the greatest use in the 
hot weather. As they are even better to eat when 
properly fattened than when killed wild, it is not 
only humane but politic to treat them as well as 
possible, as is the case with all other animals in a 
state of captivity or domestication. 

The natural food of this quail is miUet and other 
grain when it can get it, and at other times grass- 
seed and small insects chiefly ; it feeds chiefly in 
the morning and evening, resting in the middle of 
the day. Here and there a few pairs remain and 
breed with us, even in the East as far as Purneah 
and south in the Deccan. These, however, seem not 
to be of a resident strain or race, such as exists in 
some other countries which quail also visit as 
migrants, but birds which by some accident, have 
been unable or unwilling to depart with the rest of 
their kind. 

Though the male has the reputation of associat- 
ing with several females where the species is 
numerous, he appears to pair with one only in 
India ; the nest is a mere hollow in the ground, 
usually with more or less of a lining of grass. In 
India ten eggs appear to the largest clutch, thougli 
up to fourteen may be laid in Europe. 

These eggs are a little over an inch long ; and are 
spotted with brown on a buff ground, the mark- 


ings varying a good deal. They may be found in 
March and April. In the latter month this bird 
was observed to be breeding abundantly about 
Nowshera in 1872, which was an exceptionally back- 
ward year, so that the quail had evidently decided 
in many cases to make the best of things where 
they were and not go north, since they should have 
all been out of India a month later in the ordinary 

Their haunts are in crops and the stubble of thesej 
grass, bush jungle, any low cover in short, and they 
afford more good shooting than any other bird of 
this family in India. Their flight is low, straight 
and swift, and one has been seen to escape from a 
harrier by sheer speed ; but then a harrier is not a 
very swift hawk. They are often very unwilling 
to rise, and I have been heard of one being trodden 
upon, which is what one might call falling a victim 
to a policy of laissez-faire. 

The Japanese Quail. 

Coturnix japonica, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 116. 

Native names : — Udzura, Japanese ; prob- 
ably called Ngon in Burma. 

This species much resembles the common grey 
quail, but both sexes of it have a richer chestnut 
tint on the flanks. This of itself would not be much 
to go by, but the male has the face and throat 
brick-red, without any trace of the. dark markings 
found there even in the rare reddish-throated 
variety of the common quaU ; and the female is still 
more distinct, for although ker throat is white like 


that of the hen of the ordinary quail, the feathers 
there are long and pointed instead of short and 
round, and the outer ones have rusty edges. The 
young males also possess these whiskers at first. 

This quail inhabits Eastern Asia, Japan, and 
China. It comes at times within our limits on its 
winter migration, and no doubt often gets passed 
over as a common quail. When Mr. Oates wrote 
his excellent little work on the game birds of India, 
two specimens were in the Biitish Museum from 
our Empire ; both were hens, one coming from 
Bhutan and the other from Karennee. The latter 
had been procured by Major Wardlow Ramsay in 
1874. Dr. Blanford, writing on the same subject 
in the same year (1898) as Mr. Oates, stated that 
he did not consider these specimens characteristic, 
and thought it would be better to wait till a male 
was recorded before including the bird as Indian. 
Next year, however, Lieutenant H. H. Turner 
shot another of the species in the Manipur Valley 
in February, and submitted it to me for identifica- 
tion with the rest of his Manipur birds. There was 
no doubt that this bird was a Japanese quail, as 
the pointed throat feathers were unmistakeable, 
to say nothing of the richly-coloured flanks ; the 
specimen is now in the British Museum. Lieuten- 
ant Turner states [Journal Asiatic Society, 1899, 
p. 244) that he saw a dozen or so of the birds, which 
were driven out by the firing of some long grass ; 
thinking they were only common quail, he did not 
trouble more about them. It would therefore be as 
well to examine carefully all supposed common 
quails shot in Burma. The ordinary species is 
admittedly rare there, and very possibly this one 
takes its place. At tlie same time, intermediate 


Rain-Quail, Hen. 

Ccpyriaht. I,. Mcdland. 

White-chkeked Hill Partridge, 


specimens between the two species occur, so that 
it must be expected that some will turn up which 
cannot be fairly referred to either. 

In its ordinary home this bird has the same habits 
as the common quail, and its eggs are similar ; 
but the note of the male is different — a great argu- 
ment for its specific distinctness. According to 
General Prjevalsky, this note, which alone makes 
this bird easily distinguishable, consists of some 
deep hollow sounds, several times repeated in quick 

The Rain-Quail or Black-breasted Quail. 

Coturnix coromandelica, Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. ii6. 

Native names : — Chota Batter, Hind. ; Cha- 
nac, Nepaul ; Kade, Tamil ; Chinna Yel- 
lichi, Telugu. For the most part, how- 
ever, this species goes under the same 
names as the common quail. 

This bird is very like the common quail, although 
a little smaller ; but both sexes may be at once 
distinguished by the pinion quills being plain drab, 
without the pale cross-bars seen in the common 
.species. Independently of this, the male can be 
distinguished by his brighter and purer colouring 
below. His throat-marking is pure white and jet- 
black, and bis breast a decided warm bufi, with 
splashes of black which increase with age till there 
is a decided black patch in the middle. His bill is 
also often of a decided black. 

This quail is resident or only partially migratory, 
and is not known outside our Empire. Within 


this, however, it is very widely distributed, al- 
though it has not yet been reported from Kashmir, 
Tenasserim, or the Shan States ; but its resem- 
blance to the common quail no doubt often causes 
it to be overlooked. It has much the same habits 
as its larger ally, affecting grass and cultivated 
ground, and shifts its ground locally according to 
the rains, whence its name. Thus to Northern 
Bengal, Oudh, Behar, the North-West Provinces, 
the Punjab, Sind, and the open parts of Upper 
Burma it arrives in the monsoon, apparently wish- 
ing to escape from unduly damp localities. In 
many parts of Central and Southern India the bird 
resides permanently. 

It is found in pairs for about half the year, from 
April to October, and at other times singly. It 
nests in India from June to October, laying from 
four to nine eggs in a hollow on the ground, usually 
unlined. These eggs are a little smaller than those 
of the common quail, and are much speckled with 
dark markings ; the ground colour varies from 
yellowish white to rusty. 

I may mention that the species has been recentlv 
bred in captivity in England by Mr. Seth-Smitli, 
a Member of the Avicultural Society ; this is inter- 
esting as showing that this bird, naturally confined 
to a warm climate, can nevertheless, like so many 
such species, bear and propagate in a colder 

The note of the male Rain Quail is quite different 
from that of the common quail, consisting of two 
notes only, like "whit-whit." 


The Blue-breasted or Painted Quail. 

Excalfactoria chinensis. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds., Vol. IV, p. 112. 

Native names : — Khair-butai, Kaneli, Nep- 
aulese ; Gobal-butai, Oudh ; Ngon, Bur- 
mese ; Pandura-watuwa, Wenella-watuwa, 

This exquisite little creature is the smallest mem- 
ber of the pheasant family found with us, and both 
sexes are easily distinguished from our other quails 
by their, very small size and bright yellow legs. 
Above, both cock and hen are much like the com- 
mon quail, with a similar intricate mixture of buff, 
brown, and black ; below, they are very different, 
both from these and from each other. The cock 
has a slate-blue breast, the colour extending more 
or less on to the flanks, and a rich chestnut belly ; 
the throat is boldly marked with black and white 
somewhat as in the Rain Quail. The hen has a 
buff face, and is buff below with more or less well- 
defined black cross-bars. Cocks have red eyes, and 
hens and young cocks brown ones. The legs are, 
as above stated, bright yellow. 

This bird is only about six inches long, with a 
wing of about half that length ; it only weighs about 
two ounces. 

Small and fragile though it looks, however, this 
tiny quail has a wide range in South-Ea stern Asia, 
from India to China and Siam. It also possesses 
a hardy constitution, for, unlike most birds of its 
family, it seeks rather than avoids wet ground. 
Thus it is unknown in the dry regions of North- 


West India, and common in the moister districts 
of Bengal and Burma. Indeed, it migrates to 
some extent in search of damp situations, arriving 
in Lower Burma in May to be in time for the rains, 
though in Bengal it is commonest in the cold wea- 
ther. Its haunts are in rank grass on wet land, 
and it is often found round paddy-iields. In India 
and Burma it breeds in June and July, but in Cey- 
lon during the three months previous to these. At 
these times it is found in pairs, but at other times 
in coveys. The nest is in the usual hollow in the 
ground, grass-lined, and contains not more than 
half-a-dozen eggs, rather bigger than one would 
expect such a small bird to lay, being about an 
inch long. They are drab in colour, with more or 
less of a minute brown speckling. Not much else 
seems to be known about this little creature in the 
wild state, but its habits have been carefully stud- 
ied of late years by certain good observers, mem- 
bers of the Avicultural Society, who have kept and 
bred it in confinement in England. It turns out to 
be a most interesting pet, hardly enough to bear our 
English winters in an outdoor aviary, and a free 
breeder if growing grass can be provided for it to 
nest in. The cock is a most attentive husband, 
calling his hen to take any tit-bit he may obtain, 
after the gallant fashion ot the common fowl. He 
occasionally utters a tiny crow, resembling a minia- 
ture imitation of the "brain-fever-bird's" note. 
The hen is a prolific layer in captivity, and a good 
sitter and mother, and the chicks are easy to rear, 
and the most charming little creatures imaginable ; 
they are literally not larger than the big black bees 
we are all so familiar with in India, and they can 
squeeze through half-inch mesh wire-netting ! Al- 


though they take almost as long to hatch as common 
fowls, they mature with remarkable rapidity ; Mr. 
Meade-Waldo, who was the first to breed them in 
England, found that his young cocks, when only 
just over a month old, had already assumed the 
proper plumage of their sex, and were actually 
crowing and calling their little sisters to feed ! 
It is therefore very obvious that, though this mini- 
kin quail can hardly be regarded as game, it is pre- 
eminently suited for a pet ; ordinary bird-seed keeps 
it well, with the addition of a few insects and 
crumbled hard-boiled egg for the young. 

The quails that remain to be dealt with all 
agree in having distinct tail-feathers, though the 
tail is still short and inconspicuous in all except 
one species. 

This one is the mountain-quail {Ophrysia super- 
ciliosa), in which the tail is three inches long ; of 
the rest, the two typical bush-quails {Perdicula) 
are recognisable bj'- their short, stout, almost bull- 
finch-like bills and their tail of twelve feathers, and 
the slight -billed bush-quails (Microperdix) by hav- 
ing a bill much like an ordinary quail's and ten 
feathers in the tail, which is more than half as 
long as the wing. 

All the above birds are rather miniature partrid- 
ges than quails, both in form and habits, the stout- 
billed bush-quails especially, in which the males 
have a little knob on each shank, representing a 


The Jungle Bush-Quail. 

Perdicula asiatica. Faun. Brit. India, Birds, 
Vol. IV., p. 118. 

Native names : — Lowa, Hind ; Juhar, in 
Manbhum ; Auriconnai, Sonthal ; Girza 
-pitta, Telegu ; Kari lowga, Canarese. 

The male of this species is brown above, mottled 
and pencilled with black and buff ; the head is most- 
ly of a bright chestnut with white eyebrows, and the 
underparts conspicuously barred across with black 
and white. The female has the same chestnut head, 
but no barring below, the whole plumage being a 
nearly uniform light brown. 

The young have no chestnut on the head, and a 
brown plumage streaked with buff above and 
whitish below. 

In all the pinion-quills are plain brown on the 
inner web and spotted with buff on the outer. 

The bill is black, the eyes brown, and the legs are 

This, although a thick-set little bird, is decidedly 
smaller than the common or grey quail, being only 
a little over six inches long, with a wing of a little 
over three inches and tail about half as long. 

It inhabits v/ell-wooded tracts in the Indian Pen- 
insula, and also in the northern part of Ceylon. It 
is almost always in little flocks, from half-a- 
dozen to more than twice that number going about 
together, shooting off in all directions \\-hen alarmed, 
but quickly collecting again. Their call is a long 
trilling whistle, something like that which forms 
so large a part of the song of the German ' ' Roller ' ' 


canaries. They live on grass-seed and insects, 
and are themselves rather dry and not so good to 
eat as the true quails. 

They breed from September to February, laying 
five to seven creamy-white eggs about an inch long 
in a nest of grass under the shelter of some bush 
or tussock. Although so sociable in a state of 
nature, they will fight in captivity, and are some- 
times kept for this purpose by natives. 

The Rock Bush-Quail. 

Perdicula argunda, Faun. Brit. India, Birds, 
Vol. IV., p. 119. 

Native names. — Lowa, Hind, and Mahratta; 
Lawunka, Telegu ; Sinkadeh, Tamil ; Kemp 
lowga, Kanarese of Mysore. 

This species is very like the last, but is slightly 
larger, and differs in a few points in the plumage ;, 
there is more buff on the upper surface, the head is- 
dull brick-red with no white eyebrow ; the cock has 
broader bars below, and the hen a whitish chin and 
abdomen. But the chief difference is that the inner 
webs of the pinion-quills are spotted with buff as 
well as the outer. 

This species, like the last, is a bird of the Indian 
Peninsula, but has a more restricted range, nor is it 
found in Ceylon. It also affects more open and 
drier county, chiefly inhabiting sandy or rocky 
ground with scanty vegetation ; its nest and eggs 
are like those of its ally, as arfe its genersil habits ; 
it breeds in August and September and also in 


The slight-billed bush-quails, with longer tails 
and shorter wings than the above two species, and 
without spur-rudiments in the males, nevertheless 
closely resemble them in habits. 

The Painted Bush-Quail. 

Microperdix erythrorhynchns. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV., p.' 121. 

Native name : — Kodai, Tamil. 

The general colour of this bird is brown, warming 
into chestnut below, and distinctly spotted with 
black, the spots being especially large and bordered 
with white on the flanks and under the tail. The 
head of the cock is curiously marked with black 
and white, the chin, crown, and a patch round the 
eyes being black, while the throat and a band along 
each side of the head are white, the former having 
a black border ; the hen's face is dull reddish, with 
no black and white markings. The legs and bill 
are bright red, a point which at once distinguishes 
this species and the next from all our other quails. 
Young birds are like the hen, but have the black 
crown, which is nearl}' or quite absent in females. 

The cock, which is a little larger than the hen, 
is seven inches long, with a wing of three-and-a-half 
inches and a two-inch tail. 

This bird haunts the forests on and near the A^'est- 
ern Ghauts, and is also common on the NUgiris, 
while it has been obtained on the Shevaroys. Its 
call is different from that of the stout-billed bush 
quail, and it flies less noisily, being a softer-feathered 


bird. The breeding season varies, being from Aug- 
ust to April according to local circumstances ; the 
eggs are simply laid on the ground, are pale glossy 
cream-colour, and measure a little over an inch in 

Blewitt's Bush-Quail. 

Microperdix blewitti. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 122. 

Native name : — Sirsi lawa, in the Central 

This is hardly a distinct species, differing from the 
painted bush-quail only in being smaller and greyer, 
with a distinctly smaller bill and with more white 
and less black on the face of the male. It inhabits 
the forest region of the eastern Central Provinces. 

Hume's Bush-Quail. 

Microperdix manipurensis. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 122. 

Native name. — Lanz-Soibol, Manipuri. 

One of Mr. Hume's most striking discoveries in 
Manipur, this pretty quail is very distinct in appear- 
ance from all our species. Its plumage is slate-col- 
our,, mottled with black above, and buff below 
the breast, this colour broken up into large spots 
by black markings which form a cross on every fea- 
ther. The cock has a dark bay face, which at once 
distinguishes him from the hen. The bill is dark 
hornj7, and the legs orange. 


In length this species is about seven inches, with 
a wing a little over three, and a tail of two inches. 

Mr. Hume discovered this species himself when in 
Manipur, and obtained nine specimens (all he saw 
except two which were lost) after immense labour and 
two days' beating in, an expanse of elephant grass 
covering broken ground about two miles square. 
The birds were in two coveys, and those shot were 
found to have fed upon both seeds and insects. 
A single bird was shot ten days later in the same 
district, and there is a specimen in the British 
Museum said to be from Sikkim. But except for 
these few specimens, nothing more was known of the 
Manipur bush-quail till 1899, nearly twenty years 
after Mr. Hume's discovery of the bird, when Captain 
H. S. Wood, of the Indian Medical Service, presented 
one to the Indian museum, and Lieutenant H. H. 
Turner two others. Captain Wood, who had fomid 
the species quite common in Manipur, afterwards 
wrote an interesting note on it in the Asiatic Society's 
Journal for 1899. He had shot about eighty of these 
quail, and did not consider them at all uncommon. 
The native name means " Trap Quail," as the 
Nagas snare numbers of them in nooses after jungle 
fires. The birds breed in Manipur, and the egg is 
large in proportion to the size of the bird, and green- 
ish in colour with black and brown patches'; unfor- 
tunately Captain Wood's specimens of them got 
broken in transit. He found the birds hard to see 
except after the jungle fires from February to April 
as they kept to dense cover, and even after a fire 
their dark colour made them hard to see on the burnt 
grass ; they were always found close to water. The 
coveys kept very close when running, and Captain 
Wood has bagged as many as four at a shot. 


The bird is thus pretty well known now, and what 
is chiefly wanted are birds in young plumage and a 
well-authenticated set of the eggs, which would 
appear from the description above given to differ 
from those of the common painted bush-quail as 
much as does the plumage of the parents. 

Inglis' Bush-Quail. 

Microferdix inglisi, Grant, Journ. Bom. 
Nat. Hist. Soc, Vol. XIX, p. i. 

Native name : — Kala goondri, Goalpara 

This is hardly more than a local race of the last 
species from which it differs chiefly in the reduction 
of the black markings, which form mere pencillings 
above on the grey back, and are narrower on the 
buff breast. It was discovered by Mr. C. M. Inglis 
in the Goalpara district, where it is plentiful, but 
Mr. Ogilvie Grant of the British Museum considers 
that a specimen said to have been procured in the 
Bhutan Dooars and received from the Calcutta 
Museum in 1893 belongs probably to this race. 

The Mountain Quaul. 

Ophrysia superciliosa. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 105. 

The Mountain quaU — so called, for it is the least 
quaU-like of all these little birds — is rather larger 
than the common grey quail, with a decidedly long 
tail for a bird of the kind, this appendage being fully 
as long as or longer than any ordinary partridge's, 
although all but covered above and below by the 


long tail-coverts. The general feathering is also of 
a long type, but the wings are decidedly short, and 
the colouring will at once distinguish the bird from 
any other of the family. The cock and hen, though 
neither is brilliantly coloured, are absolutely unlike 
each other, the former being slate-grey, tinged with 
olive above, and with black edgings to the sides of 
the feathers, a black head streaked with white, and 
black under-tail-coverts spotted with white; while 
the latter is brown, spotted with black centres to 
the feathers and the face a sort of pinkish grey- 
Remnants of the young plumage on some speci- 
mens in the British Museum seem to show that both 
sexes when young have a garb of closely mottled 
black, brown and buff, so that they might easily be 
passed over as of no particular account if the com- 
paratively large tail were not noticed. 

The biU is red, bright coral in the male and dusky 
in the female, and the legs are dull red. In a pair 
kept in England the bill and legs were yellow. The 
length is about ten inches, with the tail three, the 
wing being only three and-a-half, and the shank one. 

The mountain quail was described in 1846 by J. E. 
Gray from living specimens in the fine collection 
of the Earl of Derby at Knowsley Hall, and he gave 
the locality as "India" with a query. Notching 
more was heard of it till 1865, when Kenneth 
Mackinnon shot a pair in November, in a hollow 
between Budraj and Benog, behind Mussoorie, 
at about 6,000 feet elevation. Again, in November, 
but two years later, at least one party established 
themselves at Jerepani, and remained till the sum- 
mer of 1868 ; and five specimens were procured. 
Then, in December 1876, Major G. Carwithen got 


one bird on the eastern slopes of Sher-ka-danda, 
close to Naini Tal, at an elevation of 7,000 feet. 
No specimens have turned up since. It seems to be 
a migratory bird, arriving in winter, although its 
small wings look ill-adapted for a journey of any 
length. It goes in single pairs or coveys, and keeps 
close to cover in grass jungle or brushwood, being 
almost impossible to flush without a dog. Its flight 
is heavy, slow, and short ; its food, grass seeds. 
The call is a shrill whistle. Anyone coming across 
these birds again should do his best to secure a living 
pair or two, and either breed from them himself — 
which could probably be done in the hUls in a well- 
grassed run — or send them Home to the London 
Zoological Gardens or down to the Calcutta Gardens. 
In this way eggs might be obtained, whereas we are 
likely to wait a long time for them if we look to the 
discovery of a nest in the wild state in the case of 
such a rare and erratic bird as this one appears to 

The true Grouse (Tetraonincs) though none of them are found 
in Indian limits, are most important game-birds in Northern 
and Central Asia. They differ from Pheasants and Partridges 
chiefly in having the toes either feathered or, if naked, as is more 
often the case, fringed with narrow scales, so as to increase the 
bearing-surface of the foot. They never have spurs, their legs 
are always more or less feathered, and so is the covering of the 
nostrils ; and in all Old- World species there is a red comb over 
the eye, greatly distended in the males in the breeding-season. 
The wings are rather longer than is usual in the Pheasant family, 
and Grouse fly better than most of these ; but there is so little 
difference in general structure and habits that the separation of 
the Grouse as a distinct family from the Pheasants and Partridge 
is not justifiable, though usual in books. Several species of 
■Grouse have hybridised with members of the Pheasant group , 
whereas hybrids between truly distinct families of birds are quite 

Of the forest-grouse, which perch much, and have the legs 
feathered, but the toes bare and fringed with scales, Asia has 
the following species : — 



Lyritrus tetrix, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, p. 55- 

Native names: — Tetereff for the cock and Kosach for 
the hen, in Russian. 

The male, or Blackcock, is about as big as a Phea.sant, glossy 
blue-black in colour except for a white bar on the wing and a 
white patch under the tail, the tail being strongly forked. The 
female or grey hen is smaller ; with a shorter but stiU forked tail, 
and brown plumage barred across with black. This species 
ranges from Great Britain east at least as far as Manchuria ; 
it is polygamous, and collects in the spring at certain play-places, 
showing off on the ground, the hen lays in May six to twelve 
pale buff eggs well speckled with chocolate. 

Caucasian Blackgame. 

Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 59. 

Native kames : — Jaban tank, Persian; Paitmorek , 
Armenian ; Kara-touch, Tartar. 

Confined to the Caucasus Mountains, this species is distinguish- 
ed from the common blackgame by the cock being entirely 
black, with a much longer tail, and the hen having her brown 
plumage much more finely and closely marked — pencilled rather 
than barred ; her tail is also longer than that of the common grey 
hen by about an inch. The eggs are paler than those of the last 


Teirao urogallits. Brit. Mus, Cat, Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 62. 

Native names : — Glouhar for the cock and Kopolitha 
for the hen. in Russian. 

This is the largest of the grouse, the cock being as big as a 
small hen turkey, with a large pale yellowish bill and medium 
length, rounded tail ; the general plumage is iron-grey, brown and 
black, with a few white markings, the breast metallic dark-green. 
The hen, which is much smaller, is very like the grey hen, but 
has not the tail forked, and is much larger, two feet instead' of a 


foot and-a-half long. The Capercailzie ranges all across North- 
ern Europe and Asia as far as Lake Baikal ; in the Southern 
Urals there is a very light-coloured race or sub-species, Tetrao 
urdlensis. This species is polygamous, like the Blackcock, but 
shows off to the hens on a tree, not on the ground like that spe- 
cies ; hybrids between them are not uncommon, and the cocks 
<^re easily known by their intermediate size, slightly-forked tails 
and metallic-purple breasts. The number of eggs and date of 
laying are the same as those of the grey hen, and the eggs are 
similar but bigger. 

Black-billed Capercailzie. 

Tetrao parvirostris , Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 66. 

Occupying a range to the eastward of the common Capercail- 
zie, from lake Baikal to Saghalien, this species is readily distin- 
guishable from that bird by its smaller and black bill, blue- 
glossed head, and proportionally longer tail, which has no white 
markings. In the hen, which is very like the common Caper- 
cailzie hen, the tail is also longer, nearly eight inches as 
against barely seven-and-a-half. In Kamtschatka there is a 
race of this bird (T. kamtschaticus), which is distinguished by 
having continuous bands of white on the upper tail-coverte 
of the cock and the shoulders of the hen, where in the ordinary 
bird there are only rows of white spots. 

The Black-billed Capercailzie ' plays ' on the ground like 
the Blackcock, to which, as will be seen, it approaches in some 
points of appearance. Its eggs are longer than those of the 
common Capercailzie. 


Falcipennis jalcipennis, Brit. Mug. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 72. 

Native name ; — Kardka, Tungus. 

This grouse, distinguished by the narrow, curved form of the 
four outer wing-feathers, is of a mottled brown colour above, 
mottled black-and-white below ; the tail, except the centre- 
feathers, is black with a white tip. The cock has a black throat 
and is darker generally than the hen. In size the Spruce-grouse 
is rather larger than the common partridge ; it is a bird of North - 
East Siberia, ranging east to Kamtschatka and Saghalien. 


Hazel-Grouse or Hazel-Hen. 

Tetrastes bonasia, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXIX, p. 
89 ; Yezo Kai-cho, Yamadari, Japanese ; Ridbchik, 

This little grouse, only the size of a partridge, has the legs 
only feathered half-way down ; its plumage is mottled with 
a more or less gre3nsh brown and black, and with much white 
below, and it has- a distinctive mark in the tail, of which the 
feathers, except the centre ones, have a broad black band 
before the white tip, contrasting with the mottled grey of the 
rest of the feather. The cock is distinguished from the hen 
by his black throat. Ranging from Scandinavia across Europe 
and Asia to Japan, this widely-spread grouse especially frequents 
deciduous woods, unlike most of these forest-grouse which prefer 
conifers. About a dozen yellowish scantily spotted eggs are 
laid by it in May. 

Mongolian Hazel-Grouse. 

Tetrastes sevrtzovi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
P- 93- 

This species, which ranges from the Kansu Mountains to the 
Hoang-ho, afiecting conifer forests, can be distinguished from 
the common hazel-hen by being barred with black aU down the 
back, not only on the upper part, and by the outer tail-feathers 
being barred with white on a black ground. 

The feather-toed grouse, or Ptarmigans {Lagopus) to which 
-group the British Red Grouse belongs, are essentially birds of 
the wastes of the high north ; all, except the Red Grouse, 
turn white in winter. 

Willow Grouse. 

Lagopus lagopus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII. 
p. 40. Koropatka, Russian. 

In summer this bird is of a pencilled reddish-brown colour, 
richer in the cock than the hen, just like our Red Grouse in fact, 
but with the wings and belly white ; in winter it is all white 
except the black outside tail-feathers. It ranges all round the 
world in the high north, and in Asia comes as far south as the 
Amoor. It frequents open bushy country, and packs in 
winter ; the female lays about a dozen heavily-spotted eggs 
late in May. 


Rock Ptarmigan. 

Lagopus rupestris, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII. 

This is a more northern bird even than the willow-grouse, being 
found in the high Arctic regions all across Asia and America and 
in Iceland ; it is practically a race of the well-known Ptarmigan 
(L. mutws) of European mountain-tops. It is distinguished 
from the Willow-grouse at all seasons by its weaker bill and 
slightly smaller size, the closed wing of the cock being only 
seven and-a-half instead of eight inches ; and in the white winter 
dress the cock has a black patch between bill and eye. In 
summer the coloured parts of his plumage are much blacker 
than those of the cock willow-grouse. 

The eggs are very similar to those of the Willow-grouse, but 


Megapodes and Button-Quails. 

The family of Megapodes or Mound-birds {Mega- 
podiidee) are always acknowledged to be near rel- 
atives of the Phasianida, differing chiefly in their 
long hind-toe and curious habit of burying their 
eggs, which disclose full-fledged young. Only one 
species is found in Indian limits. 

The NIcobar Megapode or Mound-bird. 

Megapodius nicohariensis. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 147. 

In general appearance this bird resembles a large 
dull-brown partridge, with very short tail and huge 
legs and feet, of which the hind-toe is large and set 
on at the same level as the other toes, as in a pigeon. 
The claws of all the toes are long, broad, and nearly 
straight. The wings, although of blunt and rounded 
form, are larger than is usual in partridges. The 
plumage is plain dull brown, redder above and grey- 
er below, becoming quite grey on the head ; there 
is none of the marking or pencilling usual in part- 
ridges. The cock and hen are alike ; young ones 
have no grey tinge below. The skin round the eyes 
is bare and red. The bill is yellowish or greenish 
and the legs horn-colour, becoming reddish at the 
back ; the eyes are brown. The length is sixteen 


inches, the closed wing measuring nine and tlie tail 
three, while the shank is nearly three, and very 

This species is confined to the Nicobars, and is a 
very outlying member of its family, none being found 
nearer than the Philippines and Celebes, while most 
of them inhabit the Australian region. Its general 
habits are those of a jungle-fowl ; it is found in pairs 
or flocks, does not fly unless pressed, and readily 
perches. Unlike jungle-fowl, however, it appears 
to be a nocturnal bird. It has a caclding note, 
and feeds both on small animal life and vegetable 
food, being itself most delicious to eat, accord- 
ing to Mr. Hume, who compares it to a fat turkey 
and pheasant. 

The huge eggs, which are more than three inches 
long, and pink when new-laid, are buried by the 
birds in a mound of vegetable matter and sand, 
which they scratch up in the jungle close to the shore. 
There their responsibility ceases ; the eggs hatch 
out by themselves in the mound, and the young 
Gome out of the egg fledged and able to fly, work their 
way to the upper air, arid go off on their own a,cq;bunt ; 
they look not unlike dull-brown 'quails. 

In 1900 four of these birds were presented to the 
Calcutta Zoological Garden by Colonel Anson, and 
lived there for some time. These were hatched 
from eggs which had been taken from a mound in 
the Nicobars and brought up to the Andamans with- 
out any attention at all, so that this species is hardy 
eriough in the egg. The young birds were 
on.iwhite ants, and were very tame when they came 
td- Calcutta. 


The species or races allied to this Megapode which 
are found in the islands belonging zoologically to 
Asia are all very like ours. 

Cuming's Megapode. 

Megapodius cumingi, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 449. 

This species inhabits the Philippines, Celebes, Palawan, Tojian, 
the Sulu islands, and the little islands off the North Bornean 
coast. It is darker than the Nicobar bird, especially where the 
plumage is grey. 

Sanghir Megapode. 

Megapodius sanghirensis, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 450. 

Confined to the Sanghir islands, this Megapode is character- 
ised by being dark brown below instead of grey ; it is darker 
than the Nicobar bird. 

Bernstein's Megapode. 

Megapodius bernsteini, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds,Vol. XXII, 
p. 450. 

This characteristic race of the Sulu islands of the Celebes group 
is also brown below, but the brown is of a reddish shade, and 
the tail is dull black. . It is smaller than the species above-men- 
tioned, the closed wing measuring less than eight inches. 

In North Celebes and the Sanghir islands is found a very 
curious and distinct member of the Megapode family, with no 
near relations. 


Megacephalon maleo, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 472. 

This bird is about the size of a jungle-fowl, and the tail is 
much like that of a jungle-hen ; the feet are of ordinary size, 
and the head naked, with a large rounded helmet at the back. 


black in colour ; the plumage also is nearly black, being a very 
dark brown, except the under-parts, which are salmon-pink. 
The sexes are alike, but the young have a feathered head and 
no helmet. This handsome bird does not throw up a mound 
to bury its eggs in, but buries them in holea in the black sand 
of volcanic beaches, coming for some distance from the forests — 
where it usually lives — to do this, in the months of August and 
September ; the eggs are over four inches long and of a pale 
reddish hue. 

Button-Quails . — ( Twmcidoe ) . 

I have already, in the beginning of the last chap- 
ter, drawn attention to the fact that the Button- 
Quails or Hemipodes do not belong to the Phasianidee 
at all, not being true quails, and have pointed out 
their external differences from the latter. To brief- 
ly summarise the most striking of these differences 
again, I may mention that the Indian Button-Quails 
have no hind toe, and have, in life, distinctly yel- 
lowish-white eyes, which give them a very different 
expression. In general habits they resemble the 
true quails, but the males are always smaller than 
the females, and are altogether the inferior sex, 
sitting on the eggs and taking care of the young, 
while the hens are bold and pugnacious, fighting 
like the males of the true quails, and not at all do- 
mestically inclined. The Button-'Quails can hard- 
ly be seriously regarded as objects of spot, but they 
are good to eat. 


The Blue-legged Button-Quail. 

Turnix pugnax, Faun. Brit. Tnd., Birds, Vol. 
IV, p. 151. 

Native names : — Gulu, Gundlu, Salui-gun- 
dru, Hindi ; Koladu (male), Pured (fe- 
male), Telugu ; Aukddeh (male), Kurung- 
kadeh (female), Tamil ; Durwa, Ratna- 
giri ; Kdre-haki, Kanarese in Mysore ; 
Timok, Lepcha ; Ngon, Burmese. 

This bird is often called the " Bustard-quail " 
in books, but the name is distinctly misleading, as 
this species is as unlike a bustard as are the rest. 

The general colouring of the male of this species 
above is a complicated mixture of brown, black, 
and white, more reddish in some specimens than in 
others ; below it is buff, with a whitish throat and 
black bars across the breast. In the female the 
throat is black, and the middle of the breast black 
also to a greater or less extent. Young birds have 
black spots on the breast instead of bars. 

The bill and legs in this species are blue-grey, 
and, with the barred breast, conspicuously dis- 
tinguish it. 

The cock is six inches long, with a wing of about 
three inches ; the hen about half an inch longer, 
with a noticeably stronger bill. In captivity I 
have seen her eat whole butterflies two inches 
across the wings. 

This bird is found all over the Empire except in 
the higher parts of the hills and in Sind and the Pun- 
jab ; it avoids deserts and heavy forest ; out of India 
it ranges east to China and Formosa. It usually 


breeds in the rainy season, sometimes simply- 
laying in a hollow, and sometmies making a domed 
nest. The eggs are usually four, greyish with red- 
dish and brown markings, and nearly an inch long. 
The variation of colour in this bird follows the cli- 
mate it inhabits, the darkest and greyest specimens 
coming from districts where there is a heavy rainfall;, 
these individuals evidently having a constitution 
more suited for resisting damp. It is, of course, 
possible that a damp climate may have a direct effect 
on the plumage, but this could only be established 
by keeping the reddish specimens from a dry tract 
in an open-air aviary in a damp district, and observ- 
ing if they moulted out greyer. 

The Yellow-legged Button-Quail. 

Turnix tanki, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, VoL 
IV, p. 153. 

Native names : — Lowa, Lowa-butai, Hindi ;. 
Pedda daba gundlu, Telegu. 

This is about the same size as the last species, but 
is less speckled above and more inclined to a plain 
drab ; moreover, at certain seasons, the hens have a 
chestnut half-collar at the back of the neck. The 
underparts are buff without bars, but with black 
spots at the sides of the breast. Young birds are 
redder and more speckled above. The bill and legs 
are bright yellow, with a black streak along the ridge 
of the bill in males. 

The bird is found all over India, including Sind, 
but does not usually range above 4,000 feet in the 
hills. In April 1898, however, Mr. Goldstein, the' 
Chemist at the Chowrasta in Darjeeling, showed 


me a live specimen he had captured there under 
very pecuhar circumstances : it was flying round and 
round a lamp where he used to catch moths, and 
he caught it in a butterfly-net 

Its breeding time is in July and August in Upper 
India, but in Mysore about April, and its eggs are 
of a similar type to those of the last species. 
Mr. D. Seth-Smith has bred it in England, and 
finds the incubation-period to be only twelve days, 
whereas the equally small Painted Quail takes 
three weeks. The hen Button-quail is so masculine 
in her character that during courtship she gives her 
mate any tit-bit she may obtain, just as the com- 
mon cock and some others of the true game-birds 
do with their females ! Moreover, she does not care 
at all for her young, but eats the food the}' ought 
to have. 

The Burmese Yellow-legged Button-Quail. 

Turnix blanfordi, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 156. 

Native name : — Ngon, Burmese 

This is hardly a distinct species, but merely a 
large local race of the last one, the females being 
seven inches long as against the six and-a-half 
inches of the Indian specimens. The plumage, 
however, is distinguishable in adult specimens by 
the greater amount of black barring on the back. 
This species ranges from Assam and Chittagong to 
China ; of course extending through Burma 


The Nicobar Yellow-legged Button-Quail. 

Turnix albiventris, Blanford, Faun. Brit. 
Ind., Birds, Vol. IV, p. 154. 

This is another local race of Turnix tanki, not 
exceeding it in size, but more mottled with black 
and reddish on the back in adults, and with the 
female's collar of a darker chestnut. It is confined 
to the Andamans and Nicobars, and rare in the 
former group of islands. ' ' Species ' ' like this and 
the last are really better distinguished by the Am- 
erican system of ' ' trinomials " so as to stand as 
TuYnix tanki bldnfordi, and T. tanki albiventris. 
While it would hardly do to ignore them, I think it is 
rather absurd to give them full specific rank 

The White-legged or Little Button-Quail. 

Turnix dussumieri. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 152. 

Native names : — Ghinwa Iowa, Chota lawa, 
Ddbki, Tura, Chimnaj (in Muttra) ; Libbia 
(in Purneah), Hindi ; Darwi, Ratnagiri ; 
Chinna or Telia dahba gundlu, Telegu ; 
San gundlu, Uriya. 

This species is at once distinguished from the 
others by its smaller size and lighter colour, besides 
its funny little pointed taU, which is long enough 
to be noticeable, while those of our other Button- 
quails are not so any more tha.n are those of the 
typical quails. Above it is mostly chestnut mixed 
with cream-colour, and nearly white below, running 
into buff on the breast, with black spots on the sides 


of the latter. Male and female are alike in cclour, 
and the former is in this species not very much the 
smaller. The bill is blue-grey and the feet fleshy 
white. At times I have seen birds of this species 
in the Calcutta market with blue-grey legs, but in 
the case of such specimens the characteristic points 
given above will afford a means of distinction from 
the blue-legged Button-quail. The hen is five and- 
a-half inches long, with a wing of nearly three inches. 
This bird inhabits most of India and Burma, 
but not Ceylon, nor does it seem to occur south of 
Mysore, nor does it range high up the hills. It ex- 
tends eastward to Hainan and Formosa. Its breed- 
ing season is from April to October, and the eggs, 
laid in a hollow lined with grass, may sometimes be 
as many as six. They are stone-coloured with a 
fine brownish speckling and larger spots of darker 
brown, and measure about four-fifths of an inch 
in length. 

Philippine Button-Quail. 

Turnix fasciata, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII p 


This is very like the Blue-legged Button-quail (T. pugnax) 
of India, but has yellow legs and biU, and females are darker 
with a very clear chestnut collar. It is found in the Philippines 
and Palawan. 

Celebean Button-Quail. 

Turnix rufilatus, Brit. Mus. Cat., Birds, Vol. XXII p 

This Celebean species also combines yellow legs and bill with 
a plumage generally similar to that of the Indian Blue-legged 
species, but the cock has the light barring on the chest white, 
not buff, and the hen has the throat barred black and white' 
not all black. ' 


Whitehead's Button-Quail. 

Tuynix whiteheadi. Grant, Game-Birds, Vol. II, p. 276. 

Only a few specimens of this little species, which is much like 
the little white-legged Indian bird, have been obtained, near 
Manilla ; it is distinguished from the above Indian species by- 
having the prevailing colour of the upper parts blackish-grey, 
not chestnut and buff. 

Chestnut-Breasted Button-Quail. 

Turnix ocellata, Brit. Mus. Cat, Birds, Vol. XXII, 
p. 548. 

This bird, confined to Luzon, is about the size of the larger 
Indian Button-Quails, and has yellow legs and bill ; it is drab, 
mottled with black above, and has a plain chestnut breast and 
buff abdomen ; the throat is white in the male, more or less 
black in the hen. 

Sulu Button-Quail. 

Turnix suluensis, Mearns, Proc. Zool. Soc, Washing- 
ton, Vol. XVIII, p. 83. 

A female, the type of this spepies, obtained on Sulu in the 
Philippines, most resembled Whitehead's Buttoji-^juail, but was 
larger, brown in general tint above instead of blackish. 



The Sand-grouse {Pteroclidie) have no relationship 
to the true grouse, but form a separate family of 
their own, very distinct from any other birds ; they 
come nearer to the pigeons and plovers than to the 
game-birds proper. They may be distinguished 
from any of these by having feathered legs with 
smooth-edged toes, the feather-legged true grouse 
having, as has been said above, fringes of scales 
along the sides of their toes. Two Sand-grouse 
have the toes as well as the legs feathered, like 
Ptarmigans, but they may be distinguished from 
these by having only three toes, the hind-toe being 
missing. The Sand-grouse, however, are so unlike 
any other old-world birds that they are not easily 
mistaken. They have a small bill and head like 
those of the true game-birds, but long-pointed wings 
like pigeons or some plovers ; their feet are small, 
and the hind-toe when present is always very small, 
and of no use. Their plumage is close, like that oi 
pigeons, and shows a general sandy hue in most 
cases; the sexes are always more or less different. 
Sand-grouse frequent dry, generally open, country 
in Europe, Africa and Asia ; they are often migra- 
tory. Most of the few species are found in Indian 
limits, where they are often called Rock-pigeons 
by sportsmen. Their flight is high and fast ; 
and their note usually a double or treble cluck. 


They feed chiefly on seeds and herbage, go to 
water twice a day, and lay their three spotted eggs, 
which are elliptical, long and equally rounded at 
both ends, on the ground without a nest ; both 
cock and hen sit on them. The spotting of the 
eggs is in two shades, as in many plovers, wliere- 
as those of the true game-birds only have one set 
of spots. The young are active at once, like 
game-chicks, but their down' is of a different 
character, laeing in tiny tufts, not uniformly 
fluffy, and it is marbled in pattern instead of 
streaked. In two cases at least the parents • bring 
the chicks water by soaking their breast feathers 
in it and then letting the young suck it off — a 
habit unique among birds. Sand-grouse are, 
generally speaking, of much about the same size 
— that of a common dove, though two or three are 
as large as pigeons. Beyond, specifying these, 
therefore, I have not thought it worth while to 
give dimensions. 

The Sand-grouse occurring in the Indian empire 
do not range east of the Bay of Bengal, they are 
divided into three genera : — 

The ordinary Sand-grouse (Pierocles) with short- 
pointed tails (6 species). 

The Pin-tailed Sand-grouse (Pieroclurus) which 
only differ in having the two centre tail-feathers 
long and pointed (3 species). 

The Three-toed Sand-grouse (Syrrhaptes), which 
are much more distinct, having only three toes, 
very broad, .short and feathered like, the legs. (One 
species). It is as well to begin with the Pin-tailed 
group, as one of these is the comrnonest and best 
known of the family in India. 


Common Pin-tailed Sand-Grouse. 

Pieroclurus exustus, Faufi. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 60. 

Native names. — Bhat-titar, Bakht-titar, Ku- 
mar-tit, Kahar, Hind. ; Butabur, Batibun, 
in Sind ; Popandi of the Bhils ; Pakorade, 
Maharatta ; Jam polanka, Telegu ; Kal- 
gowjalhaki, Canarese. 

The general colour of the male of this bird is 
sandy, mixed with grey above, and with narrow 
chocolate tips on the small wing-feathers. The 
breast is crossed by a narrow black band, and 
below this the buff shades into the chocolate of 
the belly ; the face and throat are pale yellow. 
The hen is buff, barred with black, the black marks, 
however, forming streaks on the head and breast ; 
the abdomen is dark brown, barred with buff. 
The long ' ' pin-feathers ' ' in the tail are shorter 
than in the cock. The bill and feet are grey and 
the eyelids pale yellow : the eyes dark, as in all 
our Sand-grouse. 

In dry open districts of the plains this Sand-grouse 
may be looked for everywhere in India except gen- 
erally in Bengal (though one once occurred even in 
the Calcutta Botanic Gardens) and the G)ast of 
Bombay and Malabar. Its range extends westward 
to Senegal. In India it is resident, and may be 
found nesting at any time, though most generally 
in the earlier half of the year. The eggs are greyish, 
pinkish, or buff, with the usual grey or byown mark- 
ings. Like other Sand-grouse, they are very regular 
in their ways, drinking at from 8 to 10 in the morn- 
ing and again from 4 to 6 jn the afternoon, and rest- 


iiig in the middle of the day. Their note is a double 
cluck, and, as with sand-grouse generally, is usually 
uttered on the wing. 

Spotted Pin-tailed Sand -Grouse. 

Pteroclurus senegallus. Faun. Brit. Ind., 
Birds, Vol. IV, p. 6i. 

Native names. — Nundu Katinga, Guiu, in 

The general colour of the cock of this species is 
also sandy, with a buff throat, but his wings are in- 
distinctly mottled with chocolate, and there is a 
grey band along each side of the head. The belly 
is dark brown, but there is no black breast-band. 
The hen is buff, very distinctly spotted with black, 
not barred, or mottled, as in our other hen Sand- 
grouse. This species is rare with us except in Sind, 
west of the Indus, though it extends to the Punjab. 
Westwards it ranges to Africa, even south of the 
Sahara, and most of those found in Sind are only 
winter visitors, though hens have been shot contain- 
ing fully-formed eggs ; the eggs are-buff spotted with 
pale, brown and grey. The note of this species is 
different from that of other Sand-grouse, being a 
sort of gurgling sound like that produced bj- blowing 
through water. 

Large Pin-Tailed Sand-Grouse. 

Pteroclurus alchata, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 58. 

This is a large species, equalling a pigeon in size 
and of remarkable beauty of plumage. The cock 


is of a peculiar sandy olive-green above, scantily 
mottled with yellow ; a patch on the wing is beauti- 
fully coloured chocolate with narrow white edgings 
to the feathers, and the lower back is barred with 
black and buff ; the throat is black, the breast huit, 
with two black bands set far apart, and the belly 
white. ■ This white belly and the buff breast bounded 
below by a black band, are also found in the hen, 
but she has two black bands on the upper breast, 
the higher much the broadest, and her upper parts 
are buff, barred with black. She has a variegated 
wing-patch like the cock, but this is black with 
broad white edgings. The feet are dirty green, and 
the bill greenish or grey. 

This is a western bird, onl}' visiting the north-west 
of India as a winter migrant ; it is, however, very 
abundant at that season, associating in bigger packs 
than other Sand-grouse. It ranges westwards into 
Northern Africa and Southern Europe, and these 
most western specimens are more richly coloured 
than ours. Its loud triple note can be heard for 
a long distance, and it is a very noisy bird. 

Black-Bellied Sand-Grouse. 

Pterocles arenarius, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 54. 

Native names. — Bhat titar, Bakht, Bakht- 
titar. Hind. ; Banchurat, Peshawar ; Bitrra 
Bhutta in Hurriana ; Katinga, in Sind. 

Equalling a good large pigeon in size, this fine 
sand-grouse is also distinguished by very striking 
colouring ; the cock is mottled with slate and j^ellow 
on the back, has a chestnut throat and neck, mark- 

Cafyright. L. Medland. 

Black-belued Sand-grouse, Cock. 

.^^-■■,;,^^y.■'J-;-- ■-■ - ■-■^'v ■ ■ ■" -r—- 


Copyright. L. Medland. 

Black-bellied Sand-grouse, Hen. 


ed with a black patch, and contrasting with the 
grey head and breast ; the breast is bordered below 
by a narrow black band, below which is a broad 
belt of cream-colour, the rest of the under-parts 
being black. The same black under-parts preceded 
by a cream belt are found in the hen, but her general 
plumage is very different, being buff, mottled with 
black. The bill and feet are grey, and the eyelids 

The Black-bellied Sand-grouse is only a winter 
bird in India, and especially affects the extreme 
north-west, associating in enormous numbers on 
large sandy plains. Outside India it ranges west 
through Asia, North Africa, and Southern Europe, 
to the Canary Islands. It only breeds west of India 
as far as is known, though eggs have been taken 
as near as Southern Afghanistan in May ; they are 
dull light buff, marked with light brown and dull 

Coronetted Sand-Grouse. 

Pterocles coronatus, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 57- 

This species, only found with us in Sind west of 
the Indus, is very like the spotted Pin-tailed Sand- 
grouse in general appearance, but has not the long 
centre tail-feathers ; the cock also has black marks 
on face and throat, and the hen is barred rather 
than spotted. Outside India this bird extends 
west to North-East Africa : eggs have been taken to 
Afghanistan, and are greyish white, scantily spotted 
with pale brown. 


Painted Sand-Grouse. 

Pterocles fasciatus, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 55. 

Native names. — Pahari bhat titar, Hind, in 
the North-West Provinces ; Palki in Bel- 
gaum ; Handeri in Southern India ; Kal- 
gowjalhaki, Canarese of Mysore ; Sonda- 
polanka, Tamil. 

This and the next differ from our other Sand- 
grouse in being less gregarious, frequenting less 
open country, and being rather nocturnal, coming 
to water before dawn and after dark. They would 
really have more right to be put in a separate genus 
than the Pin-tailed kinds. This small species is 
very distinctly and beautifully marked in the case 
of the male, which is broadly barred above with 
chocolate, slate and buff ; the head is peculiarly 
marked, the forehead being white, followed by a 
large black patch, then by white again, while the 
rest is buff, streaked with black. The neck and 
breast are plain buff, bordered by a chocolate band ; 
this is followed by a broad cream-coloured belt, 
bordered below by black ; the belly is barred black 
and buff. 

The hen is buff, finely barred with black both 
above and below, the barring extending even to 
the leg-feathering. The bill is reddish, the eyelids 
yellow and the feet dull yellow. Eyes dark as in 
all sand-grouse. 

The painted sand-grouse is only found in India, 
and generally frequents rocky ground and low 
jungle, but in many districts it does not occur — it is 
not found west of the Indies nor in the Ganges delta. 


the Cainatic plains, the Bombay and Malabar coasts, 
or the forests north of the Godavery. It lays in 
April and May as a rule, and the eggs are salttion- 
pink in ground-colour. 

Close-barred Sand-Grouse. 

Pierocles lichtensteini. Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 57. 

The Close-barred Sand-grouse has a general simil- 
arity to its Painted aUy, but the cock is much less 
handsome, being more narrowly barred, with black 
on a buff ground ; the upper breast is barred as well 
as the back. The hen is like that of the last species 
but more finely barred, and without any bars on 
the leg-feathering. In this species also there are 
only 14 tail-feathers, the Painted Sand-grouse hav- 
ing 16. 

This species only lives, with us, in Sind, west of 
the Indus, which it is said to visit only in winter. 
It also inhabits Baluchistan, Arabia and the ad- 
jacent parts of Africa. 

Of the three-toed Sand-grouse, only one species 
is found in Indian limits. 

Tibetan Three-toed Sand-Grouse. 

Svnhaptestibetanus, Faun. Brit. Ind., Birds, 
Vol. IV, p. 62. 

Native names. — Kuk, Kaling, in Ladak. 

The largest of all Sand-grouse, this bird is easily 
recognised by its three-toed feet, and by the short 


broad toes being covered, like the very short shanks, 
with feathers ; the tail has long centre-feathers as 
in the Pin-tailed kinds. The general colour is 
sandy, finely pencilled with black ; the throat is 
dull yellow, the quills black, and the belly white. 
The hen differs less from the cock than in other Sand- 
grouse, but has the black pencilling coarser, and 
extending all over the breast, the lower part of the 
cock's being plain. As its name implies, this is a 
bird of high Asia — Tibet and the Pamir, and Koko- 
nor, but it is also found in Ladak and the upper 
Sutlej valley. Its note, frequently uttered on the 
wing, sounds something like Yuck-yuck. It drinks 
very early in the morning and late in the evening. 
Eggs obtained on the Pamir are of the typical Sand- 
grouse shape, about two inches long, and cream- 
colour, sprinkled over with small brown and grey 
spots. The only other Asiatic Sand-grouse is also 
the only other near ally of this bird. 

Pallas' Three-Toed Sand-Grouse. 

Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Brit. ilus. Cat., Birds, Vol. 
XXII, p. 2. 

Native names. — Stepnaya kiiritza, Russian ; Sha-chee, 

With the same peculiar feet and pin-tail, this is a much smaller 
species than the last, being of the turtle-dove size usual in sand- 
grouse. The cock is buff above, coarsely barred with black on 
the back. The throat is golden buff, the breast grey, ending in a 
band of black pencilling ; then there is a broad cream-coloured 
belt, followed by a black patch ; the hen is more finely pencilled 
with black above, has a narrow black line bordering the throat, 
and the breast spotted with black and without the bordering 
band, but with the cream belly and black belly patch as in the 


This species, which has on several occasions created an ornitho- 
logical sensation by invading Western Europe, including Britain, 
inhabits the steppe-region from South Russia to North China. 
It has a triple note, like trucklumck. The eggs, laid about 
the beginning of June, are stone colour, marked with chocolate 
and purplish. 


Synoptical Table of full-plumaged Males. 

It is generally agreed among sportsmen that only full-plum- 
aged males should be shot among game-birds, at any rate the 
polygamous species : and even among the pairing kinds there 
IS apt to be a preponderance of cocks, while, as young cocks are 
generally Uke hens, if hen-coloured birds are spared, some cocks 
are sure to be left. Hence, as the common points of cock and 
hen, where these differ, are often difficult to give concisely, I 
give only a table of full-plumaged male game-birds. 

Shanks bare throughout or nearly 
so ; front toes webbed at base ; 
hind toe small ; wings short and 

A. Big birds, much larger than 
fowls, with tail or train four 
feet long. 

Pheasant and 
tridge family. 



A. 3 

B. I. 

B. 2. 

B. 3. 

e. 4. 

e. s. 

Neck blue, a fan-shaped crest. 

Neck green, a lance-head- 
shaped crest. 

General plumage brown, 
wings extremely large. 
Birds about two feet long, with 
tails not longer than wing. 

Breast red, spotted with 
white. . 

Breast black, spotted with 

Breast red above, grey below, 

Breast velvety black 

Breast glossy green 

Common Peacock (p. 10). 
Burmese Peacock {p. 13). 

A rgus Pheasant (p. 40). 

Crimson Tragopan (p. 28). 

Black Tragopan (p. 29) . 

Grey-breasted Tragopan 

(p. 30). 
Common Monaul (p. 32). 
Bronze-backed Monaul 
(P- 35)- 



B. 6. Breast black-and-white above, 
grey below. 

B. 7. Breast grey above, black 

and white below. 

C. Birds of the size of fowls or 

smaller, with long tails. 

A comb present ; breast black. 

A comb present ; breast 

A comb present ; breast 

streaky grey. 
Tail flat and broad, with 

green eye-spots. 
Tail very long and arched ; 

a ruff present. 
Tail long and pointed ; a long 

Tail long and pointed ; no 

crest ; wings and back 

marked with white. 
Tail long and pointed ; no 

crest ; no white. 
Size of small fowl ; tail short 
and rounded ; plumage grey, 
green and crimson. 
Size of small fowl ; tail short 
and pointed ; three crests. 

1 . Front of neck chestnut. . . 

2. Neck chestnut all round 
About size of fowl ; a long 

crest ; face red ; tail moderate 
and broad. 
Blue-black above, whitish 

below ; crest white. 
Blue-black above, whitish 

below ; crest black, white 

bars on back. 
Blue-black above, whitish 
below, crest black, no white 

on back. 
Blue-black all over except 

white bars on back. 

C. I 

C. 2 

C. 3 

C. 4 

C. 5 

C. 6. 

C. S. 


F. :. 
F. 2. 

F. 3. 

F. 4- 

Himalayan Snowcock 

(p. 87). 
Tibetan Snowcock (p. 88).. 

Red Jungle-fowl (p. 15). 
Ceylon Jungle-fowl (p. : 9 ) . 

Grey Jungle-fowl (p. 21). 

Peacock-pheasant (p. 45).. 

Lady Amherst's Pheasant 

(P- 49). 
Cheer Pheasant (p. 51). 

Mrs. Hume's Pheasant 
(p. 54). 

Stone's Pheasant (p. 57). 
Blood-Pheasant (p. sy). 

Common Koklass (p. 63). 
Chestnut Koklass (p. 65 ).. 

White-crested Kaleege 

(p. 68). 
Nepaul Kaleege (p. 69). 

(P- 70). 

Purple Kaleege (p. 71).. 



F. 5. Grizzly grey above, black Lineaied Kaleegt (p. 72) 

I do not give any key to the more 
doubtful species of 

G. Size of large fowl ; face blue, 

tail moderate, broad. 

H. Partridges with tails, more than 
half length of wing. 

H. I. Shanks feathered half-way 
down, plumage barred; bill 
and feet red. 

H. 2. Plumage mottled ; bill and 
legs dull green. 

H. 3. Plumage plain drab or grey 
above ; bill and feet red. 

H. 4. Plumage barred throughout, 
throat buff, black-bordered. 

H. 5. Plumage barred above, streak- 
ed below, throat chestnut. 

Kaleege (p. 62). 

Fire-backed Pheasant 
(p. 80). 

Snow-partridge (p. 91). 

Tibetan Partridge (p. 92). 

CJiukor (p. 93). 

Grey Partridge (p. 102). 

H. 7. 

H. S. 

H. 6. Plumage mostly black includ- 
ing throat, spotted with 
white below. 

Face chestnut, under-parts near- 
ly covered with white spots. 

Plumage mostly black, spotted 
\vith white below, throat 
Spurfowl, partridge-like, with hen- 

Uke tails, and double-spurred. 
: . General colour chestnut 
!. Chestnut spotted with white 
above, breast buff, black- 
i. Streaked black and white above, 
breast pure white. 

Partridge with tail nearly as long 
as wing, belly buff with large 
black spots. 
Partridges with very short tails, 
not noticeable ; nails very long. 
I. Throat black, bordered with 
white, breast grey. 

Swamp Partridge 
(p. 104). 

Black Partridge (p. 106). 




Painted Francolin 
(p. 108). 

Chinese F r a n c o li n 
(p. 109). 

Red Spurfoicl (p. 99). 

Painted Spurfowl 
(p. 100). 

Ceylon Spurfowl 
(p. loi). 

Bamboo Part r idee 
(p. 11:=). 

Common Hill-Partridge 
(P- "4). 



K. 2. Throat chestnut, black-spot- 
ted ; breast grey. 

K. 3. Throat black, not bordered 
with white ; breast grey. 

K. 4. Throat black, merging into 
grey breast, no chestnut 
on sides. 

K. 5. Throat pale chestnut, chest 
darker, black and white 
band between. 

K. 6. Throat buff, black-speckled, 
breast brownish buff. 

K. 7. Throat white, black-speck- 
led, then chestnut, black- 
spotted, legs green. 

L, Partridge of dark glossy 
greenish-blue, with red crest. 
(Hen green, not crested, may 
easily be taken for different 

M. Partridge with plumage mostly 
chestnut, back barred. 

N. Partridge with plumage sandy, 
bill and legs yellow. 

■O. Quails, very small, with closed 
wiiig under five inches, tail 
very short. 

O. I. Throat white, marked with 
dark brown, breast buff. 

O. 2. Throat white, marked with 
black, breast streaked with 

O. 3. Throat brick-red, unmarked, 
breast buff. 

O. 4. Breast slaty-blue, belly rich 
chestnut ; very small size. 

O. 5. Throat chestnut, breast 
barred black and white, 
quills, plain on inner web, 
spotted buff on outer. 

Blyth's Hill -Partridge 

(p. 115). 
Arakan H i II -Partridge 
(p. 116). 

W h i t e-cheeked H i II - 
Partridge (p. 117). 

Red-breasted Hill-Partridge 
(p. 118). 

Brow n-breasted H i II- 
Partridge (p. 118). 

Green-legged Hill-Partridge 
(p. 122). 

Red-crested Partridge 
(p. 124). 

Chestnut Wood-Partridge 

(P- 123). 
Seesee (p. 96). 

Common Quail (p. 129). 
Rain Quail (p. 1 35 ). 

Japanese Quail (p. 133). 
Painted Quail (p. 137). 
Jungle Bush-Quail ("p, 140), 



O. 6. Throat chestnut, breast bar- 
red black and white, quills 
spotted with buff on both 

O. 7. Head black-and-white, sides 
with black white- edged 

O. 8. As above, but plumage greyer 
and less black on face. 

O. 9. Slate mottled with black 
above, mottled black and 
buff below. 

O. 10. As above, but only pencilled 
with black above, less 
buff below. 

P. Quail with well-developed tail 
three inches long ; plumage 
grey with black streaks. 

Like large plain-brown partridge, 
but with large well-developed 
hind-toe, all nails very long. 

Quail-like birds with three toes only . . 
Breast barred with black, legs 

Breast buff, black-Spotted at 
sides, legs yellow. 

As above, but more black on 

As 2, but with more black and 
reddish on back. 

Very small, breast buff, black- 
spotted on sides, tail notice- 
ably pointed, legs white or 
bluish- grey. 

Shanks short, feathered throughout, 
hind toe very small or wanting, 
wings long. 

A. Toes naked, hind-toe present, 
centretail-feathers long and 

Rock Bush-Quail (p. 141 ). 

Painted Bush- Qu a i I 
(p. 142). 

Blewitt's Bush- Qu ail 

(P- 143). 
Hume's Bush- Qu a i t 

(p. 143). 

Inglis's Bush- Qu ail 
(P- 145)- 

Mountain Quail (p. 145). 

NiCOBAR Megapode 
(p. 152). 

Button- Quails. 
Blue-legged Button-Quail 

(P- 156). 
Yellow-legged Button- 
Quail (p. 157). 

Burmese Yellow-legged 
Button-Quail (p. 158). 

Nicobar Yellow-l egged 
Button-Quail (p. 159). 

Little Button-Quail 
(P- 159). 

Sand-grouse (p. 162). 


Sandy above, belly chocolate, 
black breast-band. 

Common Pin-tailed Sand- 
grouse (p. 164). 



A. 2. Sandy above, grey band along 
sides of head, no black 

A. 3. Olive-green above, yellow 

spotted, breast buff, belly 

B. Toes naked, hind-toe present, 

centre tail-feathers not pro- 
B. I. Mottled slate and yellow 

above, belly black. 
B. 2. Sandy above, black marks on 

face and throat. 
B. 3. Broadly barred above with 
chocolate and buff. 

B. 4. Finely barred above with 

black and buff. 

C. No hind-toe ; toes feathered Uke 

shanks ; centre tail-feathers 

Spotted Pin-tailed Sand- 
grouse (p. 165). 

Large Pin-tailed Sand- 
grouse (p. 165). 

Black-bellied Sand-grouse 

(p. 166). 
Coronetted Sand-grouse 

(p. 167). 
Painted Sand-g rouse 

(p. 168). 
Close-barred Sand-grouse 

(p. 169). 

Tibetan Sand-g rouse 
(p. 169). 



Game Birds in Captivity. 

As game-birds will generally Uve well in captivity, their man- 
agement is well known, but a few hints to beginners may not be 
out of place ; even if there is no idea of keeping these birds for any 
length of time, it may often be necessary to collect and transport 
them for re-stocMng depleted areas, or for export abroad, and 
mistakes may easily be made by inexperienced people even in 
simple proceedings like these. 

For instance, care is required in handling such birds ; the larger 
ones are very strong and violent in their movements, and so are 
apt to hurt themselves when handled ; while the smaller kinds 
have a way of slipping backwards out of one's grasp in a most 
disconcerting manner. In handling a quail or partridge, there- 
fore, it is as well to be prepared for this manoeuvre ; a bigger 
bird should be grasped by the legs or wings, always taking hold 
of both at once, and seizing the legs high up. This last precau- 
tion is particularly necessary in the case of spurred species, 
whose weapons may inflict a nasty cut. A hand net is best to 
shift these birds with, whenever it can be used, as when catching 
them out of an aviary or enclosure. 

Then, game-birds of all sorts are particularly apt to spring 
up violently and hurt their heads ; hence, any basket, cage or 
hutch used for transporting them in should have a loose canvas or 
sacking top, this being protected above by a more soUd roof if 
necessary. When confined in rooms or in aviaries, these should 
have a ceiling of fine string net some inches below the real roof, 
unless the birds are intended to be kept shut up permanently, 
when it will be sufficient to clip one of the wings of each specimen 
when they are put in ; this will prevent any suicidal performances 
for some time, and by the time the cut quills are all moulted out 
the birds will have got tamer. 

All aviaries for birds of this description should be roofed and 
kept as dry underfoot as possible ; and shade is also very import- 
ant in a climate like India ; but an outdoor run attached is a 
very useful adjunct, and tends to keep the birds in better con- 


A third point to bear in mind in the treatment of captive game- 
birds is their fierce tempers ; the sexes should never be kept 
mixed during or just before the breeding season, or there will be 
murder and mutilation among the cocks, though cocks alone 
can generally be kept together. When on a long journey, such 
as a voyage to Europe, it is just as well to keep each bird in 
a separate compartment, in the case of the larger species. 

Feeding is a simple matter in the management of game-birds, 
a mixture of various sorts of corn and seeds suiting all of them ; 
the Uttle ones, of course, needing the smallest kinds only. In 
aviaries, this may be thrown among the litter on the floor, it 
being understood that this litter is frequently renewed — once a 
week or so ; it should consist of chaff, or any such convenient 
substance, with some fine gravel to aid digestion, and some 
earth or sand for the birds to roll in, which they will do 
instead of bathing. 

A small water vessel is all that is necessary except in the hot 
weather, when I have observed that pea-fowl, at any rate, like 
to stand in water. Care should be taken that the water is kept 
clean and cool. 

Grain alone is not sufficient food if the birds are to be kept 
shut up for more than a week or so ; in more prolonged captivity 
they should be given daily rations of raw vegetable food such as 
various salad vegetables, and these should be hung up in bunches 
so that they can be picked at and not dragged about. A frequent 
allowance of white-ants, or in default of such insects, some chop- 
ped cooked meat, is also desirable ; chopped raw roots, such as 
potatoes and onions, and fruit, are very beneficial, especially 
to such species as Monauls, and should be among the rations 
provided for a sea-voyage. 

AU food, by the way, given during such a journey should be 
given in vessels securely fixed up, and none thrown on the floor, 
which should be a barred wooden grating an inch or two above 
the real bottom of the cage, so that all dirt wiU faU through and 
can be scraped out without disturbing the birds. For short 
journeys, such as a few hours by rail, a cabbage or lettuce tied 
m the basket will afiord aU the refreshment necessary. It is, 
of course, important, especially during the hot months, to let as 
much of- the journey as possible be at night ; and species from 
the higher levels of the hills should not be brought down at all 
during the hot weather. 

In fact, it generally amounts to cruelty to keep such birds 
in the plains except in the cold weather, as many birds of this 
group are very intolerant of excessive heat ; those from hot cli- 
mates, on the other hand, bear cold very well as a rule, but all 
need protection during a winter voyage to Europe, under the 


conditions of close confinement and the bitter cold often experien- 
ced at sea. 

Birds that have been long confined without the use of gravel 
should be allowed only a very little of this at first, or they will 
often kin themselves by unrestricted use of what is merely a 
mechanical digestive ; many birds are, I am convinced, lost in 
this way, as natives never seem to realise that gravel is usually 
taken by seed- eating birds, and so do not give it. 

Few people seem to take much interest in breeding pheasants, 
etc., in India ; but any one who can rear chickens can 
easily do so, if it be remembered that the young of the wild 
game-birds need more raw green-meal and animal food than 
young fowls. A mixture of chopped raw vegetables, especially 
onions, hard-boiled egg, and stale bread-crumbs, forms an 
excellent food for chicks, and any insects that can be got are 
much appreciated, and greatly help in the rearing. 


Second Edition. Illustrated. Clotli, Rs. 3. 

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THACKER, SPINK & CO. (1933), LTD. 
P. O. Box 54, CALCUTTA. 


Sixtli Edition. Clotli. Rs. 4-8. 

Poultry Keeping in India 


A Simple and Practical Book on tlie Caie and Treatment 
of Poultry, their various Breeds, and tlie means of rendering 
tliem profitable. With 50 illustrations in black and white 
and 12 coloured illustrations. A book worth its weight in 

Second Edition. Illustrated. Rs. 3-S. 

Canary Keeping in India 

A full treatise on the Breeding, Rearing, Feeding and Treat- 
ment of Canaries in India and how to render them profitable. 
With Numerous Illustrations. 

Ninth Edition. Rs. 2. 

Indian Notes About Dogs 

By Major C . Thoroughly Revised by an Officer 

of the Civil Veterinary Department. 

^ This book has been thoroughly revised by an authority of wide 
Indian experience. It is most valuable and reliable. 

Seventh Edition. Rs. 2. 

Indian Horse Notes 

An Epitome of Useful Information, medical and otherwise, arranged 
for Easy Reference. 

By the author of "Indian Notes about Dogs". 

Demy 8vo. Board, cloth back. Re. 1-8. 

A Handbook on Rose Culture in India 

By R. LEDI.IE, f.r.h.s- 

In this little book, lovers of the Rose will find all the information 
they need on the subject by one who is fully qualified to instruct the 
amateur rose-grower in India. 

THACKER, SPINK & CO. (1933), LTD. 
P. O. Box 54, CALCUTTA.